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Anatomy of a gunshot wound

Traveling at an average of 900 feet per second, the bullet — believed to have been fired from a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun — entered the body just above the right hip. Dr. Brant Putnam of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center spent nearly three hours repairing the damage caused by it.

Struck in the side | Trail of destruction | Near-fatal wound | Lodged in bone

The bullet penetrated the abdominal wall, piercing the layers of skin, subcutaneous fat, fascia and muscle.

It then cut through the ascending colon, portions of the small intestine known as the jejunum and duodenum.

It entered the back of the abdomen, nearly severing the inferior vena cava, leaving only 10% intact.

It stopped in the spine, boring nearly two inches into the L-3 vertebra, just missing the spinal cord.


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