Background

Question
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What killed Solomon Teka?

Answer
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A ricochet from the officer's warning shot to the ground

(
70%
probability)

Background
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  • Not in uniform
  • Suspected robbery
  • One warning shot
  • Stone thrown
  • Lethal shot
  • Black, but others not
  • Minor criminal record
  • Officer was involved in similar event

Hypotheses Considered
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Calculated Results
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Calculated Results
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1

70%
Ricochet:

A ricochet from the officer's warning shot to the ground

70%

2

30%
Direct:

A direct shot from the officer's handgun

30%

Starting Point
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Initial Probabilities

Name
Initial Likelihoods
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Direct

5%

Ricochet

95%

Name
Initial Likelihoods
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Direct

5%

Ricochet

95%

Evidence
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Effect
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Lethal shot

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
-

57%

Ricochet
÷
33

43%

The bullet penetrated Solomon's chest, damaging the main artery. 

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
-

57%

Ricochet
÷
33

43%

Eyewitnesses

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
×
5

21%

Ricochet
-

79%

Several eyewitnesses to the event consistently report a direct shot

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
×
5

21%

Ricochet
-

79%

Ballistics

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
-

30%

Ricochet
×
3

70%

A ballistics report claims remains of a bullet were found in the ground, while the bullet extracted from the body 

  • The head coroner says it's certain that there was a ricochet.
  • He can't say whether the entry wound matches the ricochet because surgical work at the hospital may have disturbed the site.
  • One side of the bullet is "curved and smooth", the other side "smashed and rough".
  • The bullet jacket was found on the ground.
  • The forensics lab belongs to the police, reducing their reliability.
  • The head coroner is not directly involved in ballistics.

Name

Effect

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Updated Likelihoods

Direct
-

30%

Ricochet
×
3

70%