Long Bullet Analysis Stalls Columbus Shooting Case


It has been more than six weeks since a 62-year-old woman was shot and killed in a car on Interstate 270 on Columbus’s south side– one of 18 shootings in the area that have been linked.

A task force has connected seven recovered bullets, the Associated Press reports. Pinpointing a bullet’s “fingerprint” can take more than a week. At the Columbus Police Crime Lab, which has handled ballistics testing from the investigation, only one analyst is trained to compare bullets.

The AP describes the examining process in detail. A database, similar to one used for fingerprints, allows authorities to compare digital images of bullets from across the nation. Evidence must be examined side by side by a human to verify a match. In 2003, the Columbus lab used the database, known as the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, to compare bullets 1,965 times, which led to 86 matches.

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