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First Time for Everything: Homicide Involving the Brenneke SuperSabot Shotgun Slug

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 52 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2007 Pages: 459-461
Amy M. Tharp M.D.; Donald R. Jason M.D.
Date Published
March 2007
3 pages
This paper reports on the first known case of a homicide with a shotgun that fired the Brenneke SuperSabot shotgun slug, whose development in 2000 involved a unique piston design that allows for the use of more powder to increase velocity and produce a 2 1/2" spread of five projectiles at 100 yards.
Although no projectiles were recovered from either of the victims' bodies, a large projectile was recovered loose in one victim's clothing. A similar projectile was found in the tailgate of a pickup truck at the crime scene, with much more deformation and mushrooming of the tip compared to the one found in the clothing. Because the projectile recovered from the clothing was not identified by either the staff at the medical examiner's office or investigating officers present at the autopsy, the projectile was sent to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for examination. It was identified as a Brenneke SuperSabot (Hanover, Germany) shotgun slug. When this was reported to the Brenneke Company, it indicated this was the first known homicide committed with the SuperSabot. Since this is a rare and expensive projectile, the locations at which it might be purchased are limited, thus narrowing the search for where the projectile was purchased. This case illustrates the importance of thorough crime scene investigation and postmortem examination in order to identify all of the weapons and projectiles used to commit a homicide. 3 figures and 7 references


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