Alec Baldwin used a prop gun but ended up ending the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding Joel Souza. The shooting in Sante Fe, New Mexico, is under investigation, but criminal charges are not off the table, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies stated.
Affidavits from Mr. Baldwin state that the actor was given a prop gun, or so he thought. He was also told that the gun was unloaded.
Statements from Joel Souza and camera operator Reid Russell also say the same thing: Baldwin was handed an unloaded prop gun.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, however, revealed that the firearm used in the incident was a "legit" and "antique-era appropriate gun" - not a prop.
During the shooting of the western, approximately 100 people were on the scene, but 16 were close to Baldwin.
Despite confirmations that everyone thought it was a "cold gun," the question of security and safety is the main reason the FBI is included in this investigation.
Who Could Be Prosecuted?
Assistant director Dave Halls told investigators he had failed to check all the rounds in the gun. But Halls is not the only person who acted outside the realms of security on set.
The movie Rush already had an alleged incident with a stuntman just a week before Alec Baldwin's shooting.
It is unclear if the same licensed armorer, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez-Reed talked to the police and what was her role, if any, in the previous incident.
According to Daily Mail's sources, "some crew members on the set had taken several prop guns out the morning of the incident to go plinking." Plinking is a pastime activity that involves shooting at beer cans with live ammunition.
Some unnamed sources also expressed that drinking on set was involved, but this is still under investigation and may or may not change the course of action from the authorities.
Serge Svetnoy, the set electrician, criticized the production of Rust for "negligence and unprofessionalism. "
Several legal experts have said it is unlikely that criminal charges will be filed against Alec Baldwin, despite being a movie producer.
Though it is not fair to guess who would end up being prosecuted, this filming, once again, raised the question of safety in Hollywood's blockbusters.
Santa Fe Sheriff Talked To The Press
Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said:
"We suspect there were other live rounds found on set."
He added that the police had already collected 600 pieces of evidence from the set and 500 rounds of ammunition.
The Sheriff added:
"I think the facts are clear - a weapon was handed to Mr. Baldwin. The weapon [was] functional and fired a live round killing Ms. Hutchins and injuring Mr. Souza."
Many compare this case to the death of Brandon Lee. Not only because it ended in an untimely death, but due to the "other circumstances,"
What this might be, is still unknown. The police are talking to the crew, and before they do not end up with the investigation, we won't know the details.
An actor Ian A Hudson told TMZ that filming often felt "life-threatening." He said:
"I actually did feel the blanks hitting my face and my body. I could feel the wind from the shotgun being discharged."
"It was heavy. It was strong … It was life-threatening. It felt too surreal."
Serge Svetnoy Paid Tribute To Hutchins
The only person who publically called out the set safety as an issue said goodbye to his long-term friend, Halyna Hutchins.
The statement read:
"I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna."
"She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time."
"I am humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out….. It will surely aid in my recovery."
Svetnoy held Hutchins in his arms while waiting for the ambulance.
Rust Movie Productions issued a statement:
"The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company."
"Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down."
"We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."
That is the direct opposite of what Ian A Hudson and Serge Svetnoy said.
This is an ongoing investigation, and we will produce updates promptly.