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New Mexico sheriff releases ‘Rust’ movie shooting investigation

Reuters
New Mexico sheriff releases ‘Rust’ movie shooting investigation

Actor Alec Baldwin appears in court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 23, 2019.

Alex Tabak/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Among documents released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office are accounts of interviews with witnesses, including star Alec Baldwin, and text messages and emails from crew and cast members

A New Mexico sheriff’s office on Friday, November 18, released 551 pages of documents from his investigation into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last year on the set of Western movie Rust, as a state prosecutor decided whether to press criminal charges.

Among documents released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office were accounts of interviews with witnesses, including star Alec Baldwin, and text messages and emails from crew and cast members sometimes detailing chaotic and acrimonious conditions on set prior to Hutchins’ death on October 21, 2021.

But the documents offered no conclusive answers on how live ammunition got onto the movie set and into a replica Colt .45-caliber revolver that was fired by Baldwin and killed Hutchins.

Baldwin was handed the gun during a rehearsal at a ranch outside Santa Fe. A live round hit her and movie director Joel Souza, who survived.

Baldwin is among up to four people who may face criminal charges for the death of the cinematographer, New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in September. Carmack-Altwies’ office had no comment on Friday.

Baldwin, the 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live actor, has denied responsibility for Hutchins’ death and said live rounds should never have been allowed onto the set of the low-budget movie.

In police interviews and lawsuit filings, the film’s armorer, first assistant director, prop supplier and prop master all denied culpability for the shooting.

New Mexico’s worker safety agency in April fined the film’s production company the maximum amount possible for what it described as “willful” safety lapses leading to Hutchins’ death.

An FBI report said five live bullets were found on a props trolley and in a bandolier and holster near the movie-set church where Hutchins was shot.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said it will release more files on the case by December 20. It was unclear when charges might be filed. – Rappler.com 

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