New Unit At Miami Police Department Using Technology To Help Close Shooting Cases – WPLG Local 10

The Miami Police Department has a new investigative team playing a critical role in closing shooting cases.

MIAMI – The Miami Police Department has a new investigative team playing a critical role in closing shooting cases.

Local 10 News’ Christina Vazquez got an exclusive look inside department headquarters for a never before seen tour of the elite unit.

The crime gun intelligence detail harnessed advanced ballistic training and technology with a cutting-edge proactive approach to crime fighting to find clues in casings, connecting the dots to shootings citywide and across jurisdictions to catch trigger-pulling criminals.

Sgt. Fabio Sanchez explained how his elite unit is now able to conduct ballistics testing in house.

“Now, there is no backlog, we are able to get what happened from yesterday’s shootings and we are processing it right away,” he said. “The individuals that are terrorizing the City of Miami, (we are) making sure that they are brought to justice.”

The process begins on the streets of Miami after a shooting.

Scene-collecting casings make their way into the NIBIN office. NIBIN stands for National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.

The machine takes high resolution photos of casings, looking for distinct characteristics like firing pin impressions or drag marks.

If there are no eyewitnesses at a scene, this technology and the unit’s expertise, the casing itself, almost becomes its own eyewitness.

The images are uploaded to an ATF database which can search against scans from other shooting cases.

This unit was key in aiding detectives to swiftly track down Willy Suarez Maceo, the real estate agent turned suspected serial killer, who is now facing murder charges. Prosecutors said Maceo targeted homeless people in Miami.

The science of firearms, when meticulously inspected, is now helping detectives efficiently track down leads to close cases.

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About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment “Call Christina.”