Investigators Turn To Ballistics Database In Skyscraper Shooting

Mar 18, 2016

Captain Michael Johns shows surveillance footage of the car investigators say was used in the shooting of Great American Tower.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati Police say there's a federal indictment in an incident where shots were fired at a downtown skyscraper. 

In January 2015, Rayshawn Herald allegedly shot at the Great American Tower on at least four different nights.  He was arrested after a separate shootout in Mount Auburn in May. 

Captain Michael Johns says investigators used NIBIN, the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, to make the connection.

"It’s shell casings and the projectiles, and then when you compare that with the gun that we test fired that we took off of Mr. Herald and put that into the NIBIN system, that’s where we got the match from," Johns says.

Local investigators are crediting partnerships with federal agencies and technology with the arrest.

Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco says the NIBIN system should help close other cases.

"There are thousands of cases that these guys have been working on," she says. "Thousands, literally.  And all of that information is being put into NIBIN right now. And we’re catching up."

The Hamilton County Crime Lab has a NIBIN device on loan. Sammarco plans to buy one. Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac says asset forfeiture funds will be used to pay for it.