Story at a glance

  • Alec Baldwin shot and killed Halyna Hutchinson, cinematographer of the film “Rust,” with a prop gun.
  • The investigation is ongoing and could persist for months.
  • Film crew alleges they were unaware of live ammunition in weapons on set.

The Sante Fe County district attorney is not ruling out criminal charges in the fatal shooting that took place on the movie set of “Rust” last week involving actor Alec Baldwin. 

Mary Carmack-Altwies, district attorney, told The New York Times, “We have not ruled out anything. Everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table.”

Carmack-Altwies also said the investigation was focusing on ballistics to find out what kind of round was in the gun Baldwin used that killed 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, the film’s cinematographer, and injured Joel Souza, director of “Rust.”


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After obtaining a search warrant, detectives found three revolvers, spent casings and ammunition in boxes and a fanny pack on the set of the film. The type of ammunition found on set was not disclosed. 

Carmack-Altwies also told the Times that she took issue with the term “prop-gun,” which she says could give way to misinterpretation. “It was a legit gun. It was an antique-era appropriate gun.” 

The Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office is carefully proceeding with the investigation, citing the many witnesses present during the fatal shooting and the methodical collection of ballistics and forensics evidence required.

Souza also told investigators he overheard the term “cold gun” while on set, which means a firearm is empty. 

According to affidavits released over the weekend, Baldwin was rehearsing at the time of the shooting when the gun was suddenly discharged. According to CNN, investigators also spoke with Reid Rusell, camera operator, who along with Souza acknowledged difficulties on set the day of the shooting. Some members of the camera department staged a walkout over payment and housing. 

Carmack-Altwies confirmed that investigators are still interviewing people who were on set and that, “It’s probably weeks, if not months, of follow-up investigation that we’re going to need to get to the point of charging.” 


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Published on Oct 27, 2021