Sun, Apr 11, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Dr. Lee: Bullet came from outside the Jeep to hit Lu

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

US forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee (李昌鈺) yesterday presented as fact two pieces of information about the March 19 assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮): that the bullet that went through the windshield of the Jeep Wrangler in which Chen and Lu were riding during the incident originated from outside the vehicle and that it was that bullet that wounded Lu.

"I discovered many pieces of debris on the windshield and on the dashboard. That means the bullet came from a location outside the vehicle.

"In addition, according to the forensic analysis we did at the scene and patient records and X-ray photos provided by the hospital, I can confirm that Lu was injured by the same bullet that went through the windshield," Lee said during a press conference at Tainan's Tayih Landis Hotel.

Lee and forensic photographer Calvin Ostler flew to Tainan on Friday to visit the medical personnel who attended to the president and the vice president after the shooting.

After staying at the hospital for nearly four hours, Lee and Ostler went to the crime scene on Tainan City's Jinhua Road to recreate the incident and try to determine where the shots might have come from.

To help Lee carry out his research at the crime scene, the Tainan City Police Department sealed off a section of the road and requested that residents there turn off their lights so that Lee and his colleagues could use a laser instrument to help them determine where the shots might have come from and at what angles the bullets might have travelled.

The crime-scene research lasted for four and a half hours.

Investigators now believe that the gunman might have fired the first shot from in front of No. 18, Section 3, Jinhua Road. That would mean that there was a distance of approximately 8m between the shooter and the president's vehicle at the time the shots were fired.

The first bullet went through the Jeep's windshield and slightly wounded Lu in the right knee.

The suspect then fired a second shot, which grazed Chen's stomach.

During yesterday's press conference, Lee said that it is difficult to figure out the exact location of the shooter.

He said that forensic scientists can only determine a potential area from which a bullet might have been fired, which might help investigators identify a suspect from available video.

"We can only make an assumption about the area in which the suspect could have been located," he said.

"All our research is based on police reports about where the two bullet casings were found, how the vehicle was moving and how many people were at the scene," Lee said.

"However, none of the information was 100-percent accurate so it is impossible to come up with a precise analysis."

Before he left for Taipei, Lee said that he would utilize the "Ultralight" machine that he and his colleagues brought from the US to scan evidence at the National Police Administration's Criminal Investigation Bureau, and that he will update the public again when appropriate.

Once in Taipei, Lee immediately went to Lu's residence to examine her wound.

Lee, two other US forensic scientists and a Connecticut lawyer were scheduled to leave Taiwan today.

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