How Audio Analysis Of Gunshots Helps Solve Crimes05:41
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The sound of a gunshot has become an important forensics tool. Pictured: A gun enthusiast fires a pistol at the LAX Firing Range in Inglewood, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)MoreCloseclosemore
The sound of a gunshot has become an important forensics tool. Pictured: A gun enthusiast fires a pistol at the LAX Firing Range in Inglewood, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Cellphone recordings and police body cameras have opened up a new field of forensic science. Analysts can examine sound waves and determine the direction of gunshots, what type of gun they came from and a time frame of the shooting, which can be used as evidence in the courtroom.

Here & Now's Robin Young talks with Montana State University professor Robert Maher about why the sound of a gunshot has become an important forensics tool.

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Gunshot acoustical testing at a closed firing range for the National Institute of Justice. (Courtesy Robert Maher)
Gunshot acoustical testing at a closed firing range for the National Institute of Justice. (Courtesy Robert Maher)
A waveform of an audio recording captured by a surveillance system. The first three audible shots are “beanbag” rounds from a law enforcement shotgun, followed by seven shots from a law enforcement pistol. (Courtesy Robert Maher)
A waveform of an audio recording captured by a surveillance system. The first three audible shots are “beanbag” rounds from a law enforcement shotgun, followed by seven shots from a law enforcement pistol. (Courtesy Robert Maher)

This segment aired on May 25, 2017.

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