Csi vegas lg
Story of a Gun
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 3
Writer Safia M. Dirie
Director Antonio Negret
Original Airdate October 13, 2022
Previous Episode: The Painted Man
Next Episode: Koala

Story of a Gun is the third episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.


The CSI team investigates after a group of teens discover a dead woman behind the wheel of an abandoned car in a Nevada ghost town.


Victim: Mindy Downs (deceased)

On the case: entire team

Four teens are driving down a dark desert road on their way to a ghost town. On the way, they’re almost run into by another car, which quickly drives out of sight. The group soon notices that another car has rammed into a telephone pole nearby; the driver, a female, is dead. There’s also money all over the ground.

Folsom and Det. Chavez meet Max at the scene; the victim is identified as Mindy Downs. There are two sets of tire treads in the dirt, but neither match the vehicle the kids were in. Max relays the information about the mystery car that almost caused the earlier accident and points out the money on the ground. Folsom spots a piece of a headlight on the ground, meaning that someone rammed into Mindy’s car. However, there are no impact marks to the back of the car, so she apparently ran into the telephone pole herself. Mindy’s registration is found in the glove compartment; her address is in the nearby town of Treasure Hill.

Assistant Coroner Jack Nikolayevich estimates Mindy’s time of death at 3 AM. She has injuries consistent with a car accident; however, since the front end of the car isn’t totaled, she wasn’t driving very fast. Mindy’s injuries don’t appear to be fatal, and Folsom soon spots a bullet entry wound in her neck. If Mindy was a victim of road rage, it wasn’t financially motivated, as her open bag of money is still in the backseat. Of course, there are no traffic cameras or witnesses in the ghost town.

Lack of soot, burns, or stippling around the wound indicate that whoever shot Mindy wasn’t in the car with her. There are no bullet casings in the car or anywhere nearby; it’s possible the killer picked them up after the shooting. Based on the tire tracks, Folsom theorizes that Mindy was driving south trying to escape her pursuer. Her car got clipped, causing her to crash into the telephone pole. The killer then exited his vehicle, walked up to Mindy, and finished the job. However, Allie concludes that Mindy was shot before she hit the telephone pole, as there’s no blood spatter on the right side of the airbag. Whoever shot Mindy was hitting a fast-moving target.

Robbie Downs arrives at the station and identifies his wife’s body. A gunshot residue test on his hands comes back negative. He’s unaware as to why there was cash and clothes in the backseat of Mindy’s car, but he does admit that his work had caused him to neglect his wife recently. His assumption is that Mindy was going to her mother’s, which comes as a surprise to Mindy’s sister, Amy.

In autopsy, Sonya pulls a .22-caliber bullet from Mindy’s neck; based on the wound cavity, she guesses that something must have slowed the bullet down before it entered. It’s determined that the fatal shot came from behind Mindy at a steep angle. Folsom wonders if they’re looking for a lifted pickup truck; however, Max points out that a truck that size would've done more damage to Mindy’s car. When Folsom takes a closer look at the bullet, he spots some green trace on it.

The trace analysis comes back as polypropylene, which Beau notes is used in almost everything. He wonders if the shooter used a product made from polypropylene as a makeshift silencer, which would help explain why the bullet slowed down after it was fired.

Allie determines that the headlight glass found at the scene is from the same make and model as Mindy’s car. In interrogation, Robbie confirms that he drives the same type of car as his wife, as they both love Saabs. He’s also an avid hunter, but claims that he doesn’t use .22-caliber bullets, preferring a heavier gauge. Det. Chavez questions whether Robbie borrowed a gun from his hunting buddies and theorizes that he murdered his wife because she was leaving him. When asked about the broken headlight, Robbie says that Mindy called him and sounded hurt. He raced down the road to find her, accidentally sliding into her car when he missed the brake. Mindy was already dead when he found her, so he left without calling the police, since he didn’t want to be a suspect. This is the car the teens almost ran into at the beginning of the episode.

To back up his story, Robbie provides the CSIs with a voicemail Mindy left on his phone. In the message, Mindy told Robbie that she was hurt and needed help. A flashback shows her getting shot and finding out she was bleeding. Evidence points to Mindy getting shot long before she crashed, meaning Robbie may be telling the truth. Allie plays the message again and hears the sound of metal scratching; Mindy’s car scraped up against something. At the scene, Allie finds white paint transfer on a fence and tire tracks that indicate a sudden jerking of the wheel. It seems that they’ve found the exact point where Mindy was shot; however, there’s no shoulder on the road, meaning the shooter couldn’t have pulled up alongside Mindy. Furthermore, the size of the wound cavity and the angle of the shot suggest that Mindy was shot from far away. Allie notes that .22-caliber bullets are also used in rifles, leading to the thought that they may be looking for a sniper.

Based on the angle and speed of the bullet, Allie determines that it was fired from almost a mile away. Mindy’s home in Treasure Hill is in the search radius, making it possible she was killed from her own backyard. Figuring that someone in the neighborhood may have heard the shot, the team questions the trailer park’s inhabitants. A teenager claims to have heard a gunshot, but another boy, Cash, tells him they were fireworks. Cash and the other boy get into a minor shoving match, which is broken up by Cash’s grandmother.

Beau radios Allie; he’s located a display of balloons, one of which appears to have been pierced by a bullet. Max has the team start a spiral search, figuring that the shooter must have left some casings behind. The search goes into the night, and Max eventually finds a shell casing in the field behind the trailer park. She radios Det. Chavez; however, before the detective can get there, a shadowy figure approaches Max and knocks her out with a pipe to the head.

Max is found unconscious; luckily, she held onto the bullet casing she found on the ground. Folsom, who has been running evidence on an unrelated case for a friend of his, rushes to the hospital to join the rest of the team. He feels guilty, as he was supposed to be running point on the investigation; Catherine encourages him to focus his energy on the case. The assumption is that whoever attacked Max is also the shooter; they likely headed back to the scene after hearing that the CSIs were canvassing the area. Folsom gathers the team and orders them to run everything at once.

In the lab, it’s discovered that the shell casing Max found matches the bullet in Mindy. Chris notes that there’s something off about the firing pin impression in the casing. The murder weapon is eventually narrowed down to a Ruger 10/22 that’s tied to a list of crimes. It was sold at a police auction to Cash’s grandmother, Theresa.

Allie and Catherine question Theresa, who is more concerned about her lack of air conditioning and her Sudoku book. She confirms that she owns the rifle in question, but it was stolen some time ago at a barbecue she hosted—an event Robbie Downs crashed.

Folsom finds a sneaker print in the field behind the trailer park, noting that it was under Max’s body. Based on the angle of the wound on Max’s head, he deduces that the assailant was left-handed. Meanwhile, Beau examines some nearby dirt and finds something that doesn’t belong—a blob of concrete that smells like ammonia. He notes that ammonia is used as admixture to reduce water in the concrete; in other words, it’s fresh. Det. Chavez remembers that there’s a construction site nearby.

While Beau, Chris and Folsom use sledgehammers to smash through the recently poured concrete at the construction site, Det. Chavez finds a pipe similar to the one used on Max. Folsom eventually unearths the missing Ruger 10/22, but he notices that it has no scope, nor a rail to even add one. Nobody could use the weapon as a sniper rifle without a scope, which means nobody on Earth has the aim to pull off the miracle shot.

Back in the lab, Folsom concentrates his efforts on the firing pin impression made on the shell casing. He compares the impression to other instances where the rifle was used, observing that the impression in the current case is deeper. The conclusion is that the rifle was pointing upwards. He explains to Allie and Catherine that more pressure is needed to fight gravity when a rifle is pointed up, which makes the firing pin strike harder. Since snipers don’t point up to shoot, it’s concluded that nobody took aim at Mindy and her death was an accident. Allie takes a closer look at the rifle’s stock and sees a piece missing. With this information, she figures out who shot Mindy.

Allie visits Cash and his grandmother again. She pulls a splinter out of Cash’s cheek which matches the missing piece from the rifle’s stock. Theresa is caught in a lie, as she had claimed the rifle had been stolen. After being pointed in the right direction by Cash’s friends, Allie concludes that the boy was being bullied. A flashback shows Cash confronting his bullies with the rifle and firing warning shots into the air, one of which pierced a balloon and eventually ended up in Mindy’s neck.

Theresa says that there’s no proof that her grandson shot anyone or attacked Max. While going through a laundry basket, Det. Chavez finds a pair of women’s jeans with cement on them. She and Folsom confront Theresa, with Folsom noting that the shooter was right-handed, as evidenced by the splinter in Cash’s right cheek. However, Max’s attacker was left-handed. Allie recalls that Theresa was writing with her left hand when she was working on her Sudoku book earlier. After the CSIs' earlier visit, she knew Cash had shot Mindy and that the CSIs would be searching the trailer park for evidence. She hid the rifle in the cement and saw Max searching for evidence in the field. Since Cash hadn’t picked up the shell casings, Theresa knew she had to.

Theresa tearfully says that she fought hard to gain custody of Cash, only wanting a better life for him. The sob story doesn’t work, as both Theresa and her grandson are arrested. Outside, Robbie Downs arrives with his sister-in-law upon hearing the news that Mindy’s death was an accident. Robbie demands an apology from Det. Chavez for being treated like a criminal; however, the detective reminds him that he didn’t call the police upon finding Mindy’s body. He would’ve looked like a suspect because Mindy was leaving him, and Det. Chavez blames Robbie for putting his wife in the path of the bullet.

Max is left with reduced swelling in her brain, a concussion, and a broken clavicle. Folsom visits her in the hospital and apologizes for not being there, something he promises will never happen again.


In a separate storyline, Folsom’s friend Trey stops by the CSI garage. He hands Folsom a screwdriver with some prints on it, claiming that someone pranked him and he wants to find out who it was. While he’s in the lab processing the screwdriver instead of running the other case, Max is attacked and put in the hospital.

Later, Folsom meets his friend in the front of a diner. Folsom deduces that Trey knew the prints on the screwdriver belonged to a meth distributor, which is why he wanted the perpetrator identified. Because Trey had done a favor for Folsom, he wants one in return; however, Folsom refuses to divulge any further information.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Daniel di Tomasso as Trey
  • Chris Sheffield as Robbie Downs
  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Sara Amini as Sonya Nikolayevich
  • Dendrie Taylor as Theresa Clinton
  • Genesis Corvo as Amy
  • Samuel Parker as Cash
  • Joey Marie Urbina as Mindy


  • Get Into It (Yuh) by Doja Cat
  • Heavy Rain by Smash Stereo


  • This episode shares a few elements with previous CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episodes:
    • In Coming of Rage (Season Four), a woman was killed by a shot fired from a few blocks away. The CSIs (one of whom was Catherine) had to perform calculations to determine the angle of the shot. The shooting was deemed an accident, as the shooter accidentally fired his gun into the air when he was distracted by a complaining neighbor.
    • In the Pilot episode (Season One), Warrick Brown left rookie CSI Holly Gribbs by herself at a crime scene. The killer came back to the scene and attacked Holly, eventually killing her. Here, Max was attacked in part because Folsom stayed back at the lab to help his friend on an unrelated case.
    • The idea of a grandparent protecting their grandchild also occurred in Crate ‘n Burial (Season One). When a little girl was a victim of a hit-and-run at the hands of the grandson, the grandfather tried to protect him. The attempt was unsuccessful. Here, Theresa Clinton tried covering up her grandson’s crime, but was also caught in the end.
  • When speaking with his friend Trey at the end of the episode, Folsom admits that enlisting his friend to take a car was a mistake. This is referencing the previous episode The Painted Man, in which Trey successfully boosted the car that was used to drive Grace Huang into the desert.
  • The injury Max sustains in this episode (and her recovery process) is touched upon in several future episodes over the course of the season.

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Story of a Gun

CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise