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The headline in the Tennessean is very specific Rare, expensive gun used in 2015 Hermitage slaying, police say.

Hermitage Precinct detectives believe the person who fatally shot a 24-year-old man last summer used an uncommon, expensive handgun, according to new information released Friday by Metro police.

Armondo Smoot was gunned down outside a friend’s home in the 4600 block of Forest Ridge Drive during the early morning hours of Aug. 31, and police say evidence at the scene shows that the weapon fired was a 5.7×28 millimeter semiautomatic pistol manufactured by FNH — known as an FN Five-seven.

This type of ammunition is fired only from a limited number of guns, Metro police said. The Five-seveN retails for about $1,200, police said.

The claim that a FN Five-seveN was used is directly tied to the use of 5.7x28mm ammunition by the murder weapon, as evidenced by the bullets recovered from the victim and expended cartridges recovered at the crime scene. They do NOT have a recovered weapon.

They’re guessing, and the hole in that theory, of course, is that the 5.7×28 isn’t nearly as rare or as exclusively-chambered as the police suggest.

The 5.7×28 is chambered in the Five-seveN and the PS90 carbine by FN, but also two separate pistol and two separate carbine families by Excel Arms, an AR-15 upper receiver by AR57, two series of pistols (the MPA57DMG is replacing the previous generation MPA57SST) and a carbine by Masterpiece Arms.

There are no less than five carbines and four other pistols that fire the 5.7×28 round, so the recovery of 5.6 bullets from the body of the victim, and 5.7 casings from the crime scene mean very little unless the marks left on the Five-seveN are so unique that they look nothing at all like the other nine (or more) firearms chambered for that round.

Do you think that the Nashville Metropolitan Police are aware of the existence of the (at least) nine other firearms using 5.7×28 ammunition, or have tested each of these firearms, or at least inquired about obtaining shell casings from the other companies making these firearms for comparative purposes?

 

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There are some law enforcement officers in some agencies who are firearms experts. These experts are primarily experts in tactics and training, not in gun types or cartridge availability.

The few broad-based firearms experts that agencies do have rarely interface the public information officers (PIOs) who talk to the press. These PIOs are typically media relations personnel hired by law enforcement agencies to interface with their peers in the mainstream media.

It’s a classic example of the blind leading the blind, and that, gentle reader, is why you should never trust the media, law enforcement officers, or media using information provided by law enforcement that you cannot independently verified for yourself.

They literally don’t know what they don’t know in most instances, but that’s not going to slow down their reporting in the slightest.