Is the Garden Gun (Flobert 9 mm) Capable of Inducing Fatal Injury?: Literature Review and Comparative Presentation of Two Cases

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Abstract

This article presents both a fatal suicide incident by Flobert 9 mm-type smoothbore weapon with a single-shot projectile and a nonfatal case of a suicide attempt by the same weapon type with a dispersion cartridge from the authors' forensic record. A retrospective study was conducted examining 84 cases involving cases of headshots inflicted by all kinds of weapons deriving from the broader region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (Northern Greece) between 2000 and 2015, among which only 1 involved lethal wounding by a Flobert 9 mm (1.19%). Only a single case report of a fatality with such a weapon has been described throughout international literature. A comparative study also follows between the 3 incidents. The authors argue that a prerequisite for the lethal outcome of the shooting is the absolute contact of the weapon to the head as well as its placement at an anatomical point where the bone resistance is relatively lower, so that the intracranial entry of the projectile is possible. It is also more harmful if the cartridge contains a single-shot projectile rather than multiple projectiles of smaller diameter.

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