ALBANY, N.Y. - UAlbany is reportedly developing a fast, accurate method for crime scene investigators to detect and recover gunshot residue from a crime scene or suspect.
Igor Lednev is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Albany.
"We want to do next step and develop an absolute new approach which would allow us to connect or link gunshot residue found at the crime scene to specific ammunition, firearm combination," he said.
When a gun is fired, particles from the bullet are discharged onto the shooter's hands and clothes, nearby furniture, and other surfaces. That residue can show where a gun was fired and who was nearby.
"Our approach is based on the fact that we can utilize chemical composition of gunshot residue by means of advanced laser spectroscopy," Lednev continued.
After picking up potential resident on a piece of double-sided tape, a section of that tape is then scanned into a computer via a laser microscope.
"Once it's in focus, we can apply automated spectroscopic mapping over the sample to determine if gunshot residue was collected," Dr. Justin Bueno, post-doctoral research at the University of Albany, said.
The chemists' method creates a molecular so-called "fingerprint" identifying a wider range of residue material than typically used. This can determine what type of gun was fired, where it was fired from, the type of ammunition used and who was nearby during the shooting.
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