Shooting Reconstruction

Overview

This course has been designed to give students information about evaluating, interpreting, and reconstructing a shooting scene. The units within this course will cover a general overview of firearms/ammunition and their components, bullet path reconstruction theories and techniques, cartridge case ejection patterns, evidence collection, and firearm/ammunition testing, as well as gunshot wound examination. The course will also discuss the analysis of a shooting scene, and the appropriate mathematical equations to include within the analysis.

Cost: $150.00. This course takes 24 hours to complete, on average.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Differentiate between different categories of projectile impact
  • Calculate the angle of impact from an impact site
  • Describe how vehicle windows and windshields react to bullet impact
  • Discuss the variable conditions of ejection pattern tests
  • Describe the different analytic methods used for GSR
  • Understand the holistic approach to shooting reconstruction
  • Recognize the distinguishing characteristics of different ranges of gunshot wounds
  • Discuss the factors affecting the appearance of gunshot wounds

Course Structure and Schedule

This is a non-credit course offering 4.36 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 24 hours. The course cost is $150.00 per registration. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.

Table of Contents

Unit 1: The Principles of Shooting Reconstruction

Unit 2: An Overview of Firearms and Ballistics

Unit 3: Ammunition

Unit 4: Mathematics

Unit 5: Bullet Holes and Impact Sites

Unit 6: Bullet Path Reconstruction

Unit 7: Shooting Incidents Involving Motor Vehicles

Unit 8: Cartridge Case Ejection Patterns

Unit 9: Gunshot Residue and Other Trace Evidence

Unit 10: Shooting Scene Analysis

Unit 11: Evidence Collection

Unit 12: Firearm and Ammunition Testing

Unit 13: Gunshot Wounds

Unit 14: Shooting Reconstruction in Court

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.

Computer Requirements

  • Mozilla Firefox (recommended) or Internet Explorer
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • QuickTime
  • Macromedia Flash Player
  • Java

(Free software plug-ins are available in the Getting Started area of the course.)

Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.

All Students: Using Internet Explorer (IE) 10? Read info on eCampus Main Page https://ecampus.wvu.edu/

Instructor Information

Kelly Ayers is an instructional coordinator with Forensic & Investigative Science Outreach. Prior to coming to WVU, Kelly was employed as a forensic services technician with the Asheville, NC Police Department. While there, she was qualified as an expert in forensic identification in North Carolina Superior Court and was published in the Journal of Forensic Identification. She has an undergraduate degree with a double major in Philosophy and Biology from Frostburg (Maryland) State University and was the first graduate of the West Virginia University Forensic Identification Program. Since joining FSI, Kelly has become an IAI Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst and received her Master of Science in Forensic Science Administration from Oklahoma State University. She is responsible for instructing several continuing education courses, courses in the Forensic & Investigative Science Minor, and crime scene related on site courses. Contact:  kelly.ayers@mail.wvu.edu  304-293-0323


Alicia Holman is a Forensic Project Coordinator with the Forensic Science Initiative. She joined FSI in 2007 as a student worker and has since received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Investigations at West Virginia University. Alicia is currently overseeing a grant which will present defense and prosecuting attorneys the opportunity to learn more about the basic precepts of forensic science.
Contact: Alicia.Holman@mail.wvu.edu

Registration Information 

Registration is accepted year-round for this course. Click on the "Register Now" button at the top to register online through our secure server. You will be receiving email with your online course access information within five working days. Please check your spam or junk folder in case the confirmation email was misplaced there. Call 1-800-253-2762, or email WVUEnrich@mail.wvu.edu if you have any questions. Major credit cards are accepted.

Check our FAQ page for refund policy and class access information.

Group Discount

We offer discounts for groups over 10. All individuals in the group need to register for the same course to take advantage of the discount. Discount rates vary by group size as follows:

  • 10-20 people 10% off
  • 21-30 people 15% off
  • 31-40 people 20% off
  • Above 40, contact fsi@mail.wvu.edu for special pricing

How to register for a group discount:

  1. One contact person for each group registers.
  2. Click on “Register Now” button at the top of the page.
  3. Click on “add to cart” to add course to cart.
  4. Sign into online registration system with existing account.
  5. If not, click on “Create New Profile.”  Choose “Create a Student Profile (single user).”  Create your profile.
  6. How many students to register?  Enter total number of students in your group.
  7. Checkout with credit card.
  8. Send a list of each student(s) contact information to fsi@mail.wvu.edu  (Include full name, email, phone, date of birth).
  9. Course access instructions will be sent by email within 5 business days.


Check our FAQ and Refund Policy for refund and class access information.

Testimonials

Stacey Wells“This was an overly thorough class with lots of useful information. The class catered to each and every student with or without experience. It was presented properly with attention to detail and was by far my favorite class so far!”


H. Ruslander"I just completed 2 online certificate courses, Shooting Reconstruction and Forensic Photography. I feel both were very informative for the audience it aims for. Hopefully, the school will keep up the good work and continue to offer such top notch classes to the forensic fields."


Robert Hebert

“By way of introduction, I am Robert Hebert, a 16-year veteran with the Port of Lake Charles (La.) Harbor Police Department; I also served some years as a Navy Master-at-Arms.

It's delightful and encouraging to find WVU Professional Development courses in time when budget restrictions are so tough on departments' training. The courses are simple to follow and accessible at the most convenient times. They are in-depth and focus on the particulars that a lab specialist, crime scene evidence collection specialist, investigator or first response officer need to know.

I've completed Forensic Questioned Documents and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; I'm currently enrolled in Death Investigation and Shooting reconstruction.

All of these things, a first responder officer needs to know. In a larger department, this information would help the first responder prepare the scene for chief investigators, and make those officers (first responders) more valuable in the event they might be needed to help collect evidence (as would be the case with fragile evidence). In a small department, often the first responder is the chief investigator. So, that in itself says it all: we never know when we might be thrust into a position whereby we must collect the evidence, and all the particular follow-ups.

I'm so appreciative of WVU's contribution to the law enforcement and forensics community. The information is invaluable and most timely. I've encouraged my fellow officers to explore these great courses. Keep up the great work!



Bob Johnson“I have been in the field of Law Enforcement and Forensics for over 25 years. I have amassed thousands of hours of training during that period. Having participated in three forensic programs offered by WVU, I wish to comment on the experience that I have had. The courses are very well constructed, and the goals are reasonable and attainable if you stay with the process. The instructors are very knowledgeable, and are willing to help on any issue. I have participated in many different courses using different formats in the way the courses were taught. My WVU experience was one of the best I have had in my career. The program should be used by as many people in the field as possible.”