Investigators use different technology to track suspects in mass shooting

Investigators use different technology to track suspects in mass shooting
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Investigators are using different technologies to track down the suspects in Saturday's mass shooting.

Some experts aren't sure just how effective these tools are.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is working closely with the NOPD to examine evidence left behind from the shooting.

"Each casing has its own individual marking, so it's easy to identify that casing and connect that casing to another casing," ATF Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols said.

Dr. Peter Scharf says there are two databases used in the investigation - one that looks into gang affiliation.

"If you're associated with a violent gang member, the chance of your being killed goes up by three or four times," Scharf said.

Another called NIBIN that connects firearms found at the scene to other incidents.

"The tracing of the firearms, the linking of this shooting incident to any other prior shooting incident involving any other casings that we recovered in the intel. To be honest with you, all of those things will play a significant role ic this investigation," Nichols said.

"Now, the weakness in that technology is that very few of the murders conducted by gangs in new Orleans or individuals in new Orleans buy legally owned guns," Scharf said.

Because of that, Scharf says the evidence may not lead you to the gunman, but it will show which crimes are connected in some way.

ATF says they run the firearms through their National Tracing Center database.

"We'll be able to put together an urgent trace and we'll be able to identify who purchased that firearm originally and hopefully be able to ascertain how that firearm ended up in the hands of these individuals," Nichols said.

But Scharf says criminals may be ahead of the game.

"The gang members and criminals on the street are well aware of this technology. So you have what we call an intelligent opponent. They all work around the reality and only use stolen guns in effect or rub the seriation off or alter them in some way," Scharf said.

However, ATF investigators say they are confident that with joint effort from inter-agencies and the community, the suspects will be caught.

"That's information we can take and maybe show witnesses, that's information we can take and maybe connect other incidents. That's information that's valuable to us as investigators to try to connect the dots," Nichols said.

Investigators say more than 50 bullet casings were recovered from the scene.

The reward for any information on this case is up to 25,000 dollars.

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