Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Bueno, J.; Sikirzhytski, V.; Lednev, I. K., Analytical Chemistry, 2013, 85 (15), 7287-7294. DOI: 10.1021/ac4011843.
The ability to link a suspect to a particular shooting incident is a principal task for many forensic investigators. Here, we attempt to achieve this goal by analysis of gunshot residue (GSR) through the use of attenuated total reflectance (ATR) Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) combined with statistical analysis. The firearm discharge process is analogous to a complex chemical process. Therefore, the products of this process (GSR) will vary based upon numerous factors, including the specific combination of the firearm and ammunition which was discharged. Differentiation of FT-IR data, collected from GSR particles originating from three different firearm–ammunition combinations (0.38 in., 0.40 in., and 9 mm calibers), was achieved using projection to latent structures discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). The technique was cross (leave-one-out), both internally and externally, validated. External validation was achieved via assignment (caliber identification) of unknown FT-IR spectra from unknown GSR particles. The results demonstrate great potential for ATR-FT-IR spectroscopic analysis of GSR for forensic purposes.