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Colin Bramwell was a prolific long distance serial killer, hitman, and one-time mass murderer who was hired by Eric Carcani in the Season Nine episode of Criminal Minds, "Final Shot".


Bramwell was a sniper for the South African Special Forces. In 2008, he worked with Eric Carcani in Mombasa. He was later kicked out of the special forces when he was suspected of stealing important government documents. Carcani later contacted him with a contract to kill his ex-wife Maya, and Bramwell entered the U.S. a week prior to the episode, using a tourist visa.

Final Shot

Upon arrival, Bramwell then begins hunting down Maya. As a result, he investigates the circle of women who protected her from her husband. He forces Alice Emerson, the counselor who supervised Maya's case, to give him the name of Rebecca Schroeder, a "community angel" who sheltered Maya for a brief time. He then kills Alice in the middle of Archer Plaza and five other victims to cover his tracks. He then murders Rebecca Schroeder at a gas station after she gives him the location he needs, also killing two other people. In order to keep his focus on his main target Maya, Bramwell uses a technique called fantasy integration, creating a fantasy where he is keeping Maya safe from her husband and teaching her how to be a good lookout. The fantasy ends when he sees Maya walk out of her apartment, desperate for fresh air. Apparently getting caught up in the fantasy, Bramwell abruptly pauses for a moment, reminiscing on the imagined feelings he thought he had for Maya. Before he can pull the trigger, he is shot and killed by Hotch with a Remington 700 PSS.

Modus Operandi

Bramwell would shoot his victims with a .308 Nemesis Arms Vanquish rifle equipped with a telescopic sight and a suppressor.[1] To ensure that the attacks appeared to be at random and committed by an inexperienced shooter as part of a series of terrorist attacks, he would shoot other random people before and after killing his target (timing the kills so that he would still be able to shoot his target before he or she could successfully flee). He also intentionally fired bullets at nearby objects so they could give off the appearance of missed shots. He usually shot his victims once in the head, neck, and chest, which were considered vital areas for military snipers, or "kill shots". The exceptions to this are Rebecca Schroeder, who received two gunshot wounds to the neck and hand, the latter being because he wanted to destroy the cell phone she was holding as a forensic countermeasure for their communications; and Daniel Bukowski, who received two gunshot wounds to the back.

During the Archer Plaza massacre, he fired from an upper floor of a nearby building, using a glass-cutter to carve a hole in a window that would be used to steady his rifle as he fired shots. During the gas station shooting, he fired from the shelter of a van that was parked at a second gas station located on the other side of the street and timed his shots to avoid passing cars.


The unsub is a male Long Distance Serial Killer who is an extremely skilled marksman with a God complex and derives pleasure out of remaining unseen and determining the fates of people from a distance. He is criminally sophisticated and methodical, concealing his method of ingress and egress, and leaving little evidence behind in his sniper perches, suggesting a great deal of experience, so he possibly has a military or law enforcement background, possibly even Special Forces. His victims initially appeared to be targets of opportunity, but it later became clear that one or more of them are targets of choice, while the remaining victims were all collateral damage used as a forensic countermeasure. This means that there is some unknown connection between one or more victims at the first and second crime scenes. The unsub is likely in his late 30s to 40s, as evidenced by him having the means and patience to plan and execute these attacks. If he still has specific targets on his list, he will not wait long to attack again.

Based on his M.O. and the motivations for his crimes, Bramwell can be considered an organized profit-type serial killer.

Real-Life Comparison

Bramwell seems to have been inspired by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who were mentioned in the episode. All were L.D.S.K.s with ex-wives as targets (one of The Beltway Snipers had an ex-wife as a target, while Bramwell was hired to kill someone else's ex-wife) and used the additional murders of innocent people to cover up their true intentions. They also committed a shooting at a gas station.

Known Victims

  • Pre-2008: Presumably killed numerous unnamed victims while working for the South African special forces
  • 2008(?)-2013: Likely killed numerous unnamed victims while working as a hitman
  • 2013:
    • October 8:
      • Six killed in the Archer Plaza massacre. They are:
        • Axel Greiner (shot in the neck)
        • Daniel Bukowski (shot twice in the back[2])
        • Alice Emerson (target victim; had handled Maya's case; shot in the chest)
        • Melanie Chen (shot in the back of the head)
        • Ricardo Hernandez (shot in the chest)
        • Kyle Yates (shot in the chest; survived, but later died of his gunshot wound at a hospital)
      • Three killed in the gas station shooting. They are:
        • Rodney Anvil (shot in the head)
        • Rebecca Schroeder (target victim; was Maya's "community angel"; shot twice in the neck and hand)
        • Sean Tramen
    • October 8-9: Maya Carcani (Carcani's wife and the final target victim; attempted)


  • Mike Colter, the actor who portrays Bramwell, previously portrayed a mass murderer in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.



  1. The depiction of the suppressor in this episode is more realistic than many other fictional portrayals. Rather than render the gunshot silent, a suppressor simply reduces the volume and muzzle flash to hide the shooter's position. The supersonic "crack" of the bullet moving through the air is still audible, which is why people could still perceive they were being fired at.
  2. After the first shot is fired, Bukowski can be seen running in the background, falling to the ground as soon as the second shot is fired, implying that he had been shot. The scene cuts to him apparently getting up, only to fall again as soon as the third shot is fired.