<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 25, Issue 4, December 2017

Rom J Leg Med25(4)337-341(2017)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Suicides with captive bolt pistols in Siena province: entrance wound analysis

D. Capano, I. Mercurio, L. Fidenzi, G. Landi, M. Gabbrielli

Abstract: Captive bolt pistols are a rare source of harm for humans, almost always limited to suicidal events. In scientific literature only a few old cases have been described reporting its particular offensive mode. This case series, completed with a recent case of suicide, offers the description of the particular entrance wound generated by this weapon and provides information about the legislative regulation on its use. The authors describe three cases of suicide, caused by a shot exploded from captive-bolt pistols, between 1968 and 2015 that were investigated by the Department of Forensic Medicine of Siena. The victims shot themselves in the head in two cases (two male subjects); in the third case a woman shot herself in the left hemitorax region. The aim of this study is to analyse these cases describing the characteristics of the entrance wounds produced by this type of weapon, distinguishing them from those of the typical firearms and making recommendations in order to differentiate between suicidal events, homicides or accidental deaths.
Keywords: Stun bolt gun, captive-bolt pistol, atypical firearms, penetrating cranial wound, suicide, gunshot.

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