BETHEL, PITT COUNTY - Police said alleged Greenville shooter Lakim Faust used birdshot rounds when he fired his pistol-grip shotgun at four people Friday. The victims are all expected to survive, but may have life-altering injuries, investigators said.
NewsChannel 12 met with Capt. James Marsal, of the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, to learn the differences between birdshot and buckshot. Marsal demonstrated three tests to show the impact of the two types of ammunition.
He began by firing a buckshot round at a ranged target, followed by a birdshot round.
"Now, you'll notice with the birdshot, it's got a much wider pattern than what the buckshot does, so it covers more surface area. But you'll notice these holes are much smaller than what the buckshot rounds were," said Marsal.
The buckshot rounds contained nine pellets each, whereas the birdshot rounds contained a significantly larger amount of pellets. But those pellets were much smaller.
Next, Marsal fired at the same target from a third of the distance. The areas hit by both buckshot and birdshot were smaller, since the pellets had less time to spread out.
Marsal described what was around the buckshot hole.
"[It was] stippling from the unburned gunpowder going through at close range. That's fired at three yards and you can see the outside pellets are starting to open up for the bird shot," Marsal said.
The areas affected by buckshot rounds from both distances were relatively similar. But the areas covered by the birdshot round were much smaller from three yards than it was from 10 yards.
Lastly, Marsal lined five jugs of water to do a penetration test. From five yards away, the buckshot penetrated all five water jugs. The birdshot barely penetrated the second jug, leaving pellets inside.
But that doesn't mean birdshot is any less dangerous than buckshot, Marsal said.
"I mean, it can kill anybody and anything for that fact if it's hit just right," Masal told NewsChannel 12.
Police said alleged Greenville shooter Lakim Faust had more than 100 birdshot rounds on him when he was arrested.