Ear as an alternative sampling site for GSR analysis following shotgun discharge

AKÇAN R., Demircioglu D., Aydogan H. C., CAVLAK M., Erkan E., DEMİRAY E., ...More

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol.66, no.3, pp.1042-1047, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 66 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1556-4029.14672
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Legal Source, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1042-1047
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Detection of GSR particles potentially indicates that a person fired a gun or somehow involved to a shooting event. GSR on the shooter's hand, face, and clothing may disappear within hours and with sweat secretion, washing or cleaning to remove evidences. Due to its anatomical properties, ears are relatively protected; therefore, we aimed to identify GSR particles on ears, to compare its anatomical parts of ears, and compare ears with common GSR sampling sites, based on firing frequency. A 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun was used. In the 4-week study, one shot in the first week, two consecutive shots in second week, three shots in third week, and five shots in fourth week were fired by six participants. Samples were taken from MAE, CA, and AAECA of both ears and common GSR sampling sites. The characteristic 3-component structure (Pb/Sb/Ba) of the samples was analyzed by SEM/EDX. Right CA was the most suitable area for sampling, which might be attributed to posture of body during targeting. Right ear was the most suitable area to take samples from CA or MAE in 3-shot group. Besides, left AAECA in 1- and 2-shot groups and the left MAE in 5-shot group were the most suitable areas for GSR sampling. In conclusion, ear seems to be a valuable alternative for detection of GSR particles, due to its complex anatomical structure potentially preventing loss of GSR with daily cleaning. Findings suggested that crime scene investigation teams and criminal laboratory staff should consider ear as a valuable alternative for GSR detection.