Alec Baldwin’s gun fired live bullets and there was “complacency” on set, sheriff tells press conference about director’s death

Alec Baldwin fired a Colt .45 pistol loaded with a live lead bullet in last week’s accidental fatal shooting on the set of his New Mexico movie Rust, where filmmakers showed “complacency” towards safety, authorities said. .

Anta Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said at a press conference that although no charges were filed, they do not rule out this possibility in the shooting that last Thursday killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins during a test.

Mendoza said authorities collected 600 pieces of evidence including three firearms, 500 bullets, and various items of clothing and accessories in the ongoing investigation, with some evidence sent to an FBI crime lab in Virginia for analysis.

“All options are on the table … No one has been ruled out at this point,” Carmack-Altwies said of potential criminal charges.

Authorities have the weapon used in the shooting, Mendoza said, and recovered the bullet from the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who was wounded but was later discharged from hospital. Mendoza said the same bullet appeared to hit Souza and Hutchins.

Mendoza said “possible additional live bullets” were recovered from the set and would be tested by ballistics experts. The recovered ammunition included blank cartridges, dummy bullets and suspected real bullets, he said.

Mendoza said the gun was an F Lli Pietta Long Colt revolver.

“A suspected live bullet was fired, but it fired from the weapon and caused injury. This would lead us to believe it was a live shot,” he said.

Authorities had not previously said whether the ammunition was real or fictional bullets or the blank cartridges often used on film and television sets.

Sheriff said Baldwin cooperated with the investigation.

“He’s obviously the person who fired the weapon,” Mendoza said. “Right now, he’s an active part of this investigation.”

Asked about using real guns on a movie set, the sheriff said, “I think the industry has had a record of being safe recently. I think there has been some complacency on this set. And I think there are some safety concerns that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly the state of New Mexico. “

The shooting sparked tremors in Hollywood, sparking debate over safety protocols in film and television – including whether certain types of firearms used as props should be banned – and working conditions in low-budget productions.

Before the accident, according to the affidavit, the camera operators had left the set to protest the working conditions.

Authorities said in court that Baldwin was given what he thought was a “cold” or safe gun by assistant director David Halls, who took it from a trolley used by Hannah Gutierrez, who was used to guard firearms and their safety in a job called a gunsmith.

Baldwin (63) is a co-producer on Rust, a western film set in 1880 Kansas, and plays the outlaw grandfather of a 13-year-old boy convicted of accidental murder. Production at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe, has been discontinued.

Baldwin was drawing a revolver on his body and pointing it at a camera during evidence when the weapon fired, according to court documents. There is no video footage of the incident, Mendoza said.

The film’s producers hired the Jenner & Block law firm to investigate the shooting. In a letter sent to the cast and crew on Tuesday night, the film’s production team said Jenner “will have full discretion as to who to interview and any conclusions they draw.”

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