Monday, July 23, 2012

Authorities Search For Cause of Death of Gunshot Victims

FBI: "Maybe it's a virus"

WASHINGTON - Forensic investigators and coroners affiliated with the FBI are trying to determine the cause of death of people who die after being shot with guns.

"It's the damndest thing," said FBI forensics specialist Agent Will Phillips. "A really lot of people who get shot with guns, and have bullets from the guns hit their bodies, and go inside their bodies, die. And we just don't know why. We've seen it thousands and thousands and thousands of times—and we just cannot figure it out."

Phillips said that in each case being investigated the victims began to bleed, stopped breathing, their hearts stopped beating, their brains ceased functioning, and they died, "pretty much around the time they get shot. Usually after. Well, always after." But, he said, they cannot determine why the strange symptoms occurred.

He also said that in every case involving gunshot victims who later die of unknown, mysterious causes, heartbroken family members and friends are left behind.

"There are a lot of really sad, really confused, really angry people out there. They've lost children, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, friends—and they want answers. They want to know how they died. And we want to know, too. We can't get those people back, but maybe if we knew how they died we could prevent deaths like this from happening again in the furture. Unfortunately we just don't know how they died. We're thinking maybe it's a virus or something."

Phillips said they would keep searching for the answer, "no matter how long it takes."

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