This aerial photograph exhibits a movie set on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed on the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officers stated.
Jae C. Hong | AP
Investigators trying into the unintentional shooting loss of life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust” are nonetheless gathering proof and should not but prepared to find out if expenses ought to be introduced within the case.
“It is too early to comment on charges,” stated Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza throughout a joint press conference Wednesday with the First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
Mendoza advised reporters that investigators imagine they’ve the gun and spent casing that was used of their possession and have recovered a lead projectile from the shoulder of director Joel Souza. That projectile is believed to have killed Hutchins.
He stated 500 rounds had been situated on set, which had been a mixture of clean ammunition, dummy rounds and, presumably, dwell rounds. Mendoza declined to touch upon how dwell rounds might have gotten on set. Evidence collected might be submitted to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia for evaluation, he stated.
Other objects collected from the set included clothes, equipment and three firearms. One is an extended Colt revolver, which authorities imagine is what was used within the shooting. The others had been a single-action revolver which will have been modified and a plastic prop gun that was described as a revolver.
“We are not at that juncture yet,” stated Carmack-Altwies about the opportunity of bringing expenses towards any members “Rust” crew.
“If the facts in evidence and law support charges, then I will initiate prosecution at that time. I’m a prosecutor that was elected in part because I do not make rash decisions and I do not rush to judgment,” she stated.
Mendoza stated the movie business has a historical past of following security procedures on the subject of on-set firearms and prop weapons and there appears to have been “complacency” on the set of “Rust.”
“The people that inspected or handled the firearm when it was loaded before it got to Mr. Baldwin — we’re interviewing. And there [are] some follow-up questions that we need to do,” Mendoza stated.
This replace comes only a day after the producers of “Rust” employed a high-profile legislation agency to interview forged and crew about the unintentional on-set shooting.
Court paperwork launched Friday present actor Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by assistant director Dave Halls. Halls had retrieved the gun from a cart, the place it had been positioned by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed. Halls indicated it was protected to make use of moments earlier than Baldwin fatally shot Hutchins and wounded Souza.
A search warrant filed in a Santa Fe courtroom exhibits that the assistant director didn’t know the prop gun was loaded with dwell rounds.
Halls had beforehand been fired from the set of “Freedom’s Path” in 2019 after a crew member incurred a minor and momentary damage when a gun unexpectedly discharged, a producer on the venture advised NBC.
There had been additionally experiences that the gun that killed Hutchins was used by crew members for live-ammunition target practice. The Wrap was the primary to report this element.
Additionally, an individual aware of the matter advised NBC News that half a dozen digicam crew staff walked off the “Rust” set in protest of working circumstances simply hours earlier than the shooting befell. Among their issues had been multiple accidental discharges of the prop gun.