Do "hit" men always leave the weapon at the scene?

In a 1973 film, Al Pacino dropped the murder weapon on the floor of the Bronx restaurant as he was leaving. Whenever there was an assassination (by gun) in the Sopranos, the assassin would abandon the weapon at the scene. Is this a Hollywood “thing”, or is there some reason for not keeping the gun?

You don’t want to get caught with the weapon. So you drop it right there. Of course, this assumes that you’ve made sure that there are no fingerprints or other incriminating evidence on the gun.

Is there not concern that a Good Samaritan or some guy who fancies himself a tough guy will pick it up and use it on the shooter, either to kill him or prevent his getting away. I know most people hit the floor when the shooting starts, but once the guy has dropped his gun and is moving away it looks to me like he’d be easy pickings for would-be heros.

Safest way to reduce that risk is to empty the gun while fulfilling the contract.

There were some good answers last time this question was asked.

That sounds like a good movie, too bad it doesn’t have a name… :stuck_out_tongue:

A close friend of my father’s was killed in a mob hit in the 80’s. The killer didn’t leave the gun behind.

Now you can’t just leave it at that. Was he target or bystander?

The target. His name was Roger Wheeler. He was a legit businessman who bought into a business (jai alai) that had mob ties. When he threatened to blow the whistle, they hired a hitman to kill him. He was getting into his car at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa when someone walked up and shot him once in the face. Several mobsters did time for the murder, but I don’t think they ever figured out who actually pulled the trigger.

Earlier thread on this subject:

“Leave the gun. Take the cannollis.”

The primary reason, as explained earlier, is that if you get stopped, you don’t want the gun on you. You get rid of it at your earliest convenience.

I read a story about an alleged mobster in the New York Times earlier this week –

Although the wording isn’t crystal clear, this guy was linked to four different murders (which seem to have occurred at different times) using the same .22 caliber pistol. So, it appears that at least one mobster not only didn’t drop the gun, he may have used it in multiple murders.

Another reason to drop it would be that if the same gun is used in multiple crimes, those crimes can be linked by the police from the ballistic data. This in turn makes it easier for them to determine a motive, establish patterns and so forth.

The .22 is used for assassination hits; close range - behind the ear. The bullet, being small and relatively low powered, doesn’t leave the brain case. It thrashes up the grey matter pretty well though. Not so much mess meaning less cleanup and contaminated clothing, car seats, etc… Blowing out the other side of a guy’s skull with a .45 makes for dramatic movie/TV scenes but the gore can get on your nice suit. Suitable for sending a message in a gang war perhaps.

Since these close range hits are not done in public generally, no need to dispose of the weapon immediately though it could link multiple hits. I have limited forensic experience (mostly explosive accident and malfunction incidents); it would seem almost impossible to link .22 bullets to each other and to a specific gun. It’s not jacketed (generally), just soft lead that would easily deform inside the skull.

That about sums up my ganster knowledge gleaned from 50 years of reading about and watching crime stories. :slight_smile:

He’s got a Wikipedia page. One Johnny Martorano confessed to shooting him and the previous owner of World Jai-Alai in 2001, along with a dozen other murders.

Hitmen leaving their gun at the scene kind of kills (eh) the myth that a hitman has the same relationship to his gun as a virtuoso musician to his instrument…

I don’t think anyone seriously believes that Antonio Banderas accurately portrays real contract killers. Anyway, there are tons of professionals who don’t really give a crap about their instruments. Surgeons don’t give two shits about their scalpels, just as long as somebody sterilizes them.

That’s an enjoyable thread. Thanks for linking it.

Perhaps we can get him to name that movie. Make him an offer he can’t refuse …

In the U.K. there are criminal run “gun libraries”, these rent out weapons for a specific job and for a specific purpose.

It is not recommended that the renter leaves the weapon behind.

One benefit for criminals is that (apart from no proof of ownership) the various crimes and shootings an individual weapon can be used in tend not to pinpoint anyone in particular by the M.O.s involved.