nekosensei (nekosensei) wrote in little_details,

Questions about Criminal Investigations and Law

This question has to do with law enforcement and law in general, and I'm hoping that someone on here can help me as I know very little about this and I'm not having a lot of luck with my google skills. I'm describing a crime, and I'm trying to give a description that is as realistic as possible. I've posted my questions behind a cut since it is rather long.

This story is written in the first person by the main character, Meghan (name changed), on her blog. One day, there’s an armed robbery, which she survives, and she's rushed to the nearest hospital. She is the only other survivor besides one of the accomplices. Her husband takes over her blog and writes an entry on her behalf explaining what happened and assuring her friends that she’s okay. The hospital is going to hold her for twenty-four hours because she's a bit hysterical and they think she's in shock because she can't remember what transpired.

In my story, she's interviewed by several police officers while she's in the ER and, later, when she's in her regular hospital room. Later, an officer talks with her husband outside her room and shares some details about the case. What is he legally allowed to tell him? (It takes place in the US) In my story, he's told that the store clerk and three customers were lined up against a wall and shot. The gunman died shortly after he was taken into custody from third degree burns. (I have another question that pertains to this, and I will address it later). The police also tell her husband that the gunman's accomplice has apparently gone insane. He had been in trouble with the law before, and ended up serving six years in prison for assault and battery. He received psychological evaluations during that time, and was considered "normal." During his questioning, he’s shown a picture of the people in their store at the time of the robbery. (Is this even done?) When she sees Meghan's picture, he starts screaming and needs to be sedated. The shooter is non-communicative. He can only babble incoherently. The police think that he’s had either a psychotic break or he’s paranoid schizophrenic. Could the police officer legally share this with her husband? Would they also start looking into why and how the suspect has had a sudden break with reality? (Relevant piece of information for the story: Meghan has some super-powers she's not aware of. She used it in self-defense and pretty much drove the guy insane).

Let's go back to the shooter who died. He was pretty much fried to a crisp. The officers currently think that his gun malfunctioned and exploded. Are there any kinds of guns out there that could do this? (More relevant information, Meghan threw a fireball at him. Again, she doesn't remember any of this). If it's determined that no gun could possibly do this, what else would police start looking into that would cause this?
Tags: ~law (misc), ~medicine: burns & smoke inhalation

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