- Bullets that struck the occupants were FMJ type and exhibited a deformed structure but no significant loss of mass.
- Entry holes in the victim's body were larger than the calibre of bullets.
- Death occurred immediately after the victim was shot only in one case, despite a vital structure has been hit in all cases.
The firearms used were 7.65 mm (n = 1) or 9 mm (n = 3) calibre semi-automatic pistols and 9 mm calibre submachine guns (n = 2); the bullets were full metal jacket type. The metal jacket of the collected projectiles was totally or partially destroyed in 3 cases. It exhibited a deformed structure in all cases. The trajectories of the bullets in the vehicles were always more or less linear, even when initial impact was at an oblique angle. The entry holes in the victims' bodies were larger or much larger in size than the calibre of the bullets. They were located, with the exception of one of the cases, in the left half of the body. The trajectories in the victims' bodies were from front to back, in one case, and from back to front in all others. Exit wounds were only found in two cases. Death occurred immediately after the victim was shot only in one case, despite a vital structure has been hit in all cases.
The cases studied support the idea that the use of firearms against vehicles with the sole intention of immobilisation entails uncontrollable danger to the lives of the occupants, and especially when done by police forces not specifically trained for that purpose. Therefore, such use of firearms should be avoided.
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- 1Faculty of Medicine of Porto University, Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2Faculty of Law of Catholic University of Portugal, Rua Diogo Botelho, 1327, 4160-005, Porto, Portugal.
- 3National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Department of Pathology - North Branch, Jardim Carrilho Videira, 4050-167, Porto, Portugal; Faculty of Medicine of Porto University, Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal; School of Health Sciences of Minho University, Campus Gualtar, 4710-057, Braga, Portugal; Center of Forensic Sciences, National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Largo da Sé Nova, 3000-213, Coimbra, Portugal.
- 4EPIUnit - Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Rua das Taipas, 135, 4050-600, Porto, Portugal.
- J Forensic Leg Med. 2016 Jan 12;39:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2016.01.010.
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