NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has released documents on its investigation into the shooting on the “Rust” movie set. In October 2021, Cinematographer Halayna Hutchins died as a result of the shooting and Director Joul Souza was injured when Alec Baldwin shot a gun that was loaded with real bullets during filming.
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- New Mexico fines ‘Rust’ production nearly $137K over Baldwin shooting
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- Warrant reveals gun not thoroughly checked before movie set shooting; sheriff not ruling out charges
- Crew member who gave Baldwin gun subject of prior complaint
- Halyna Hutchins: What we know about the cinematographer killed by prop gun
- Sheriff: Alec Baldwin discharged prop gun on movie set that killed 1, injured another
The 500-page document will be used by the district attorney’s office to determine if anyone involved with the filming and production will face charges. It’s been redacted with some information left out, but it does include interviews discussing safety concerns on the set as well as the FBI ballistic report on the gun used in the shooting.
Actor Alec Baldwin shot a gun that contained a real bullet. The report does have redactions – but from what we can read, this was not the first time there were issues with the weapons on set of the film. The report includes an email from one of the camera crew members who walked off set – sharing his concerns about two accidental weapon discharges and one accidental explosion – which all happened prior to the fatal shooting.
Baldwin – says the prop gun misfired but the federal ballistic report included in the investigation contradicts that claim. The report by the FBI says the weapon would work properly only when the hammer was pulled on the way back. It would not fire unless that happened.
The investigation has case reports from all responding law enforcement personnel. It paints a chaotic scene from that day – and in many of the witness statements crew members told law enforcement people responsible for handling and loading the prop gun were prop master Sarah Zachary, armorer Hannah Gutierrez and 1st assistant director Dave Halls.
One of the documents from the investigation includes an email from Gutierrez’s father to the Santa Fe sheriff’s office. He says that he was asked by Seth Kenny, the prop supplier, to bring live ammo and let the actors feel what it is like to shoot a real gun. In the email he believes the bucket containing live bullets was then brought on set.
As a part of the wrongful death lawsuit settlement with Hutchins widower – production of the movie “Rust” will begin in January but it won’t be filmed in New Mexico.
Last week, Alec Baldwin filed a lawsuit against crew members on the set of “Rust” for handing him a gun with live ammo inside. Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas argues Baldwin was not responsible for the live round in the pistol. He said it was the job of the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, to check the ammunition before loading it.
This comes after the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau released the results of its own investigation in April. The report finds that Rust Movie Productions, LLC management knew that firearm safety procedures were not followed on set and showed indifference to employee safety. The production company was issued a Willful-Serious citation that includes a $136,793 penalty. This is the maximum fine and highest level of citation allowed by state law in New Mexico.
KRQE reached out to the Santa Fe District Attorney and her office says they are still reviewing the investigative report. Also no decision has been made yet on whether to pursue charges.