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Forensic Comparison of Simultaneous Recordings of Gunshots at a Crime Scene

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Audio forensic evidence is of increasing importance in law enforcement investigations because of the growing use in the United States of personal audio/video recorders carried by officers on duty, by bystanders, and by surveillance systems of businesses and residences. These recording systems capture speech, background environmental sounds, and in some cases, gunshots and other firearm sounds. When there are multiple audio recording devices near the scene of a gunfire incident, the similarities and differences of the various recordings can either help or hamper the audio forensic examiner’s efforts to describe the sequence of events. This paper considers several examples and provides recommendations for audio forensic examiners in the interpretation of this gunshot acoustic evidence.

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