Santa Fe County Sheriff: ‘Lead projectile’ kills cinematographer at ‘Rust’ set

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The sheriff stated that Alec Baldwin and two of the crew members who handled it were cooperative with investigators.

Authorities announced Wednesday that Sheriff’s Investigators recovered the “lead missile” that struck a cinematographer and 500 rounds from the set for the movie “Rust.”

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Menedoza stated that the investigation is still ongoing and it’s too soon to determine whether there’s enough evidence to support criminal charges in relation to the fatal incident.

The set contained blanks, dummy and what investigators believe to be “live” rounds.

Mendoza stated that there was complacency about this set, and that safety issues need to be addressed by both the industry and the state of New Mexico.

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack–Altwies said that despite the sheriff’s claim of “complacency” on the set, her office would prosecute any criminal cases here. However, she couldn’t say yet if the lackluster work would lead to charges.

She stated, “There is a bridge, but it will take many facts, corroborated facts before we can reach that criminal negligent standard.”

Nearly a week has passed since Alec Baldwin shot a prop gun at the New Mexico set for “Rust,” killing Halyna Hutchins (42), and injuring Joel Souza (48).

According to the sheriff, doctors removed the round that killed Hutchins. It was then found in Souza’s left shoulder.

Mendoza stated that Baldwin used a Pietta Long Colt revolver as his weapon.

Officials said that while footage was recovered by investigators, it does not appear to contain any film from the time Hutchins was fatally injured.

Mendoza stated that “I believe the facts are clear,” Mendoza stated.

Sheriff wants to know the reason live rounds were present on “Rust”. Mendoza stated that we will determine if there were any other live rounds. “We will determine how they got there and why they were there when they shouldn’t be there.”

The attention has been focused on Dave Halls (Rust) assistant director, who was fired from “Freedom’s Path” in 2019, after an accidental gun discharge on set in New Mexico injuring one crew member.

Halls shouted “cold gun”, a week before Baldwin received the weapon. According to a search warrant, this indicated incorrectly that it did not have any live rounds.

There have been questions about Hannah Gutierrez Reed, set’s armorer, at 24 years old. Gutierrez-Reed was the set’s gun safety and weapons officer. She is the daughter of Hollywood stuntman Thell Reed.

Baldwin and both of the crew members have spoken with detectives.

Mendoza stated that all three people were cooperative during the investigation and provided statements.

Baldwin and Souza representatives declined to comment immediately after Mendoza briefed reporters.

Some Hollywood stars have called for stricter gun safety rules or banning on-set guns in this age of computer-generated visuals.

The film’s production team informed crew members that work on “Rust,” has been suspended while the investigation is completed. This was communicated to them in a Sunday night letter.

“As we go though this crisis, it has been decided to wrap the set at most until the investigations are completed,” the letter stated.