Probe nearly finished in Baldwin shooting
The criminal investigation into the fatal shooting on a U.S. movie starring Alec Baldwin is “nearing completion,” the officer leading the probe said on April 26.
Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza’s comments come as his department released a trove of materials around the incident that claimed Halyna Hutchins’ life on the set of low-budget Western “Rust,” including footage of Baldwin apparently practicing with the gun that killed her.
“We’ve estimated a time frame...in weeks and not months,” Mendoza told broadcaster ABC. “There’s a few things that we’re waiting for in the final FBI report in regards to the analysis of the firearm, the munitions, the latent prints and DNA.
“We’re also waiting on the office of the medical investigator to complete their report and analysis of a little bit more cell phone data.”
Cinematographer Hutchins, 42, died after being hit by a live round that came from the gun Baldwin was holding as he rehearsed on the New Mexico set in October.
Baldwin, who was a producer as well as the star of the movie, had been told the gun was safe and has previously said he did not pull the trigger.
Footage released by the sheriff’s department show first responders rushing to treat Hutchins, as well as a dazed Baldwin’s first encounters with law enforcement.
Other clips, apparently from the now-abandoned movie, show the Hollywood star in period dress sitting in the pew of the wooden church and pulling out the Colt gun, which he points in the direction of the camera.
The moment of the shooting, in which director Joel Souza was also hurt, is not seen.
Mendoza said the provenance of the live round that killed Hutchins was “one of the key questions” of the criminal probe.
“Nobody’s come forward and admitted to bringing ammunition to the set,” he said.
The raft of materials includes messages from Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the young armorer who was responsible for weaponry on the set, that refer to the use of live rounds on another movie.
“That’s concerning, because it was just a few months before the production of ’Rust’ went into effect,” Mendoza said. “And these are some of the same employees and people that played a role in the ’Rust’ production.”
Mendoza said no decision had yet been taken on whether Baldwin would face criminal charges.
“He was the one that handled the weapon that fired the round that that led to the fatality and the injury,” he said. “We’re going to work in conjunction with the [district attorney’s] office to determine if there is criminal neglect or criminal charges.”