Bullet Path Reconstruction
The ability to quickly and accurately reconstruct the path of a bullet using Leica 3D laser scanning is one of the most powerful investigative tools available to a public safety agency. Not only can shooting reconstructionists combine traditional methods with laser scanning, but on certain kinds of scenes, impact site to impact site analysis would be either inaccurate or impossible without the use of laser scan data.
The Leica software tools and field workflow for this technique were developed, refined and scientifically validated by our working side-by-side with forensic scientists from the Albuquerque Police Department Crime Laboratory. APD's crime lab is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 by ASCLD/LAB. The scientific validation for this technique was published in the peer-reviewed AFTE Journal in 2008.
This technique for bullet path reconstruction is widely used on homicide and officer involved shooting cases around the United States. Many agencies feel that the ability to find the truth using this technique and the resulting protection that it can afford from civil torts has paid for the cost of the technology many times over.
- Case Study: The Trial of Marco Topete
On June 15th, 2008 Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Antonio “Tony” Diaz was fatally shot after a high-speed pursuit of known gang member Marco Topete. Sophisticated bullet path was conducted to locate the shooter’s position through the use of a Leica Geosystems ScanStation at the request of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to assist the California Department of Justice with their investigation of the crime scene. The result was that on November 16, 2011, the jury sentenced Marco Topete to death for the murder.