D.A. says Alec Baldwin ‘is an active part of this investigation’

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A press conference Wednesday held by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and attended by the district attorney discussed the latest in the Rust film set shooting.

Sheriff Adam Mendoza said 600 items of evidence were recovered amid the investigation into Alec Baldwin discharging the gun that caused the death of the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director Joel Souza on Thursday. Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, “All options are on the table at this point” as far as potential prosecution and “no one has been ruled out.”

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - OCTOBER 27:  An external view shows the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building ahead of a press conference to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie

An external view shows the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building ahead of a press conference to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie “Rust”, on October 27, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. On October 21, 2021, Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured on set while filming the movie “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The film’s star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm that hit Hutchins and Souza. (Photo: Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Three firearms were recovered from the indie movie set, including the one they think killed Hutchins (a .45 Long Colt revolver), as well as the spent shell casing from the shot that hit Hutchins and then Souza and the projectile that medical personnel removed from Souza’s shoulder.

There were some 500 rounds of ammunition, a mix of live, dummy rounds and blanks, on set as well as potentially additional live rounds recovered. They are being sent to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Va. for analysis.

The sheriff said the three people who handled the gun — Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls — have all been cooperative in the investigation. 

It is “too early to comment on charges,”

It’s “too early right now in the investigation to comment on charges,” the sheriff said. “The investigation will continue and if the Sheriff’s office determines … a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed. Otherwise, we will complete our investigation and forward the full investigation and evidence to the district attorney for review.”

Asked if Baldwin could face charges, Carmack-Altwies said, “All options are on the table at this point. No one has been ruled out at this point. Right now, [Alec Baldwin] is an active part of this investigation.”

However, she also made it clear, “I do not make rash decisions and I do not rush to judgment.”

Approximately 100 people were on set that day with 16 on the church set where the shooting took place. 

The sheriff acknowledged rumors there was target practice on the set, but urged anyone with first-hand knowledge about safety issues on the set to contact authorities.

The sheriff also said while the industry generally has had a record “of being safe,” there appears to have been “complacency” on this set.

Also, he confirmed what has previously been reported that there was “no footage of the actual incident,” as they were rehearsing for a scene and Baldwin had been told he was handling a “cold gun,” meaning it had no ammunition in it.

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