DeKalb County

Expert breaks down what autopsy report shows in deadly shooting of man at training facility site

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — After autopsy results were released in the shooting of a man at the future site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, law enforcement experts told Channel 2 Action News that it’s not uncommon for an induvial to not have gunshot residue on their hands after firing a gun.

“The slide moves so fast; it doesn’t allow for the gunshot residue to come out that much,” said Chris Robinson.

Chris Robinson is a firearm and gunshot residue expert with more than 20 years of experience with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Department, and the private sector.

Robinson spoke with Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln Thursday about the process of collecting gunshot residue. He says for years he’s analyzed how gunshot residue is retrieved from the human body.

“The fact that one shot was fired, I’m not shocked that they didn’t find gunshot residue on his hands based off the single shot,” Robinson said.

The findings from a DeKalb County autopsy found there was no gunshot residue on the hands of Manuel Teran, 26.

Teran was shot more than 50 times in January, during a raid of a forest area at the planned site for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

However, the report states that a gunshot residue kit was performed. The results of that test have not been released.

Robinson said if Teran did not fire his gun several times, that could explain why there is a lack of gunshot residue on his hands.

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Robinson said the type of weapon, number of times a weapon is fired, rapid action of the gun, and weather, determine if gunshot residue is left behind.

“Anything the hand touches, especially with the back of the hand, if it touches anything some of those particles will have to be removed,” Robinson said.

In conditions of wind and rain, Robinson said that can mitigate the presence of gunshot residue being detected.

Robinson told Lincoln that he’s also investigated suicide cases where there was a lack of gunshot residue on an individual who’ve shot themselves in the head.

The 31-page report from DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office said Teran had at least 57 gunshot wounds. It does not say how many actual shots were fired nor did it determine the position that Teran was in.

“Since most shootings involving multiple gunshots are dynamic events, attempts to place the decedent in any particular position at a specific point in time is fraught with potential inaccuracies. There are too many variables with respect to the movement of the decedent, and the shooters to draw definitive conclusions concerning Mr. Teran’s body position,” the report said.

The GBI previously said that a firearm purchased by Teran has been tied to the bullet that wounded a trooper and that he purchased the gun in 2020.

The Dekalb County Medical Examiner’s Office said they sent the gunshot residue kit for further testing.

Robinson said those tests are typically in greater detail, and there is the possibility gunshot residue could be present.

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