Sheriff's office believes that the Rust movie set showed some complacency with weapons
Investigators say there was some complacency in the way weapons were handled on a movie set where Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed ten cinematographers and wounded another person, but its too early to determine whether charges will be brought.
500 rounds of ammunition, including blanks, dummy rounds, and live rounds were found while searching the Western Rust, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza.
Obviously, I think the industry has had a recent record of being safe, he added. I think there was a little complacency on this set, and I believe there are safety concerns that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by New Mexico, Mendoza said at he spoke shortly after the shooting, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
Detectives have recovered a lead projectile they believe the actor fired last week. Testing is being done to determine whether the projectile taken from Joel Souzas shoulder was fired from the same long Colt revolver that Baldwin used. Two more guns were seized, including a modified single-action revolver and styrene gun that was described as revolving revolvement, officials said.
Investigators said they planned to follow up on reports of other misfires with guns on the set that included other incidents.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said investigators can't at this time determine if it was intentional or by whom.
The incident has stifled Hollywood professionals and prompted calls to improve firearms regulations on sets or ban them in the era of seamless computer-generated imagery. An assistant director grabbed the gun from a cart and indicated it was safe by yelling cold gun. Court records show that an assistant supervisor grabbes the weapon from the cart, which an officer removed and returns.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the films armorer, said she checked dummy bullets on the day of the shooting to ensure that none were hot rounds. According to a search warrant released on Wednesday ahead of the press conference, while the guns used for filming were locked up during october lunch break, ammunition was left on unsecured carts.
Gutierrez Reed told a detective that no live ammunition was ever stored on the set.
Gutierrez Reed opened the gun hatch and spun the drum, according to assistant director David Halls, who handed the weapon to Baldwin before the shooting. Gutiers Reed typically opened it and pushed the button, although he couldnt recall if she did that before. According to the warrant, he said a third round was in the gun.
Halls took the gun to Gutierrez after the shooting and said he saw five rounds in the weapon, at least four of them dummy rounds indicated by a hole on the side and tuck on it. Halls said there was also a casing in the gun that didn't have the cap and hole indicating it was dummy, according to the warrant.
According to the warrant, "David advised the incident was not a deliberate act," which was issued Wednesday in order to search broom that was used on the set.
Baldwin, 63, who is best known for his roles in 30 Rock, The Departed and Hunt for Red October as well as his impression of then-President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, has described the killing as a tragic accident.
Prior to the news conference, Carmack-Altwies told The Associated Press that the investigation is still in its infancy, with no final decision on whether or not to file criminal charges.
She stated that those involved in the production were cooperating with law enforcement and that prosecutors wont begin to examine evidence until after an initial investigation by the sheriffs office.
According to court records, Baldwin used a gun that was one of three that he had placed on tin trays outside the building where symphony was being performed.
Souza, who was standing behind Hutchins when he arrived, told investigators there should never be live rounds around the scene.
Three black revolvers, gun belts with holsters and jacks in them, ammunition boxes, a fanny pack with ammunition, several spent casings as well as articles of clothing, and blood were found.
From the beginning of October, workplace disputes plagued the production of Rust. Several camera crew members walked off the set hours before the shooting amid disagreement over working conditions, including safety procedures.
Baldwin in his role as actor appeared to be unlikely to face criminal or civil liability for the tragedy. As a producer, though, he is among dozens of filmmaking associates who may be at risk of liability.
Coles on two previous productions have raised concerns about Halls' safety record. Halls has not responded to phone calls or email messages seeking clarification.
Rust Movie Productions, the production firm, claims it is cooperating with Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and conducting its own internal review of procedures with the facility shut down.