Sheriff reveals Alec Baldwin MAY still face charges for Rust shooting
Alec Baldwin may still face charges for accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October, sheriffs revealed on Tuesday morning after releasing a trove of documents and videos from their investigation into the on-set accident.
Baldwin, 64, was rehearsing a scene for the movie Rust on October 21, 2021, when he pulled his gun from his costume. It fired and shot Hutchins, 42, in the armpit, fatally wounding her.
The gun fired a live round which had been loaded into what Baldwin thought was an empty gun.
So far, no one has been criminally charged over the accident but Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza suggested on Tuesday morning that charges may still be brought.
Appearing on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Sheriff Mendoza said said that Baldwin is not in the clear because he was who was handling the weapon.
‘He was the one that handled the weapon that fired the round that led to the fatality.
‘We’re going to work with the DA’s office to determine if there is criminal neglect or criminal charges. We kind of know who didn’t do their jobs here. That was one of the key questions,’ he said.
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In new video released on Monday night, Alec Baldwin is shown on the phone to his wife Hilaria before he is questioned over the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins. He asked her to fly to New Mexico from New York but she told him she ‘doesn’t think it’s a great idea’
Appearing on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Sheriff Mendoza said said that Baldwin is not in the clear because he was who was handling the weapon
He added that ‘no one’ had yet confessed to bringing the live rounds on set.
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for the weapons, has said repeatedly through lawyers that she is not at fault.
Hutchins is pictured before her death in October 2021. The Ukrainian-born cinematographer was a married mother-of-one
‘There was at least one live round on the set that was fired from the weapon. These are two separate investigations.
‘There was complacency, disorganization, they were not adhering to proper safety protocols and industry standards to be honest.
‘There was a degree of neglect – whether that neglect reaches a criminal standard that will be up to the district attorney to determine,’ Sheriff Mendoza added.
His remarks come as more footage of Baldwin on the day of the shooting has emerged.
In one video, he appears in the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office before being interviewed, seemingly on the phone to his wife Hilaria.
The actor can be heard asking her to fly from their home in New York out to New Mexico to be with him.
‘Can you hear me? Can you hear me? I’m at the police station. How is everyone at home?
‘How are the kids? Are you convinced you don’t want to come tomorrow?’
She replied: ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea. Call me after you talk with the sheriff but I don’t think it’s a great idea.
He fired back: ‘Just to be clear. They’re going to make me stay here anyway.’
Baldwin was somewhat calm but confused throughout the interview, telling the two female sheriff deputies that he’d ‘never heard of anything like this’. At one stage, he drew a diagram of where he had been standing in relation to where Halyna was
The clip, filmed by the production’s cameras, shows Baldwin in full costume sitting in a church pew, drawing his prop pistol from his waistcoat jacket.
Baldwin goes to draw his gun in the rehearsal of the movie scene on October 21 last year
Data files released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office included a video of investigators debriefing Baldwin within hours of the fatal shooting, talking with him inside a compact office
Alec Baldwin’s hands were photographed at the scene before he was questioned
In these two photos, Alec Baldwin is shown on the set of the movie holding his hands out after the accident
Then, bringing the phone to his ear, he said: ‘I don’t want to do this film anymore, I don’t. I don’t want to be a public person. I’m the one holding the gun in my hand that everyone was supposed to have taken care of.
‘They always hand me a cold gun.’
He then seems to quiz his wife on her whereabouts, asking: ‘Where are you now? Michelle who? And where are you? I’ll call you back when I’m done, OK?’
Next, the actor FaceTimes someone who seems to work for his family.
His first question is ‘where are the kids?’ The woman on the other end of the call told him they were sleeping. He then relayed the conversation he had with Hilaria.
‘I’m trying to convince her to come here,’ he said. He then asked the woman if paparazzi are outside the home in New York City. She said there weren’t.
‘You have no idea how unbelievable this is and how strange this is,’ the actor said.
Two sheriff’s investigators then entered the room and began a 30 minute interview with him, where he told how he had always been handed a ‘cold’ weapon by the crew.
The sheriff’s office also released dozens of text messages and emails to and from Dave Halls, the assistant director of the movie, on Monday.
Assistant Director Dave Halls gives a DNA sample on October 21 after the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins
Assistant Director Dave Halls gives fingerprints on October 21 after the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins
Three days after the shooting, Dave Halls received these texts warning him that Baldwin and the producers were trying to scapegoat him for the accident
Those messages show how his friends and confidantes warned him that Baldwin’s ‘PR machine’ was ‘in overdrive’ trying to blame him for the tragedy.
One message, written to Halls by a friend named Julie Burris, said: ‘It looks as though everyone is going for their 15 minutes of fame and AB PR team is in overdrive trying to shift the blame away from himself on a worker bee who doesn’t have the money or the power to refute any of it.
‘I think you should thoroughly discuss this aspect with your attorney because the most important thing right now is to make sure there aren’t any criminal charges brought against you – AND what the sheriff’s office affadavit [sic] actually says. And then after the fact assess what person (s) and/or news outlets you can sue for libel/slander/defamation.’
The first part of her message referred to claims of film industry insiders and people who previously worked with Halls that he flouted safety violations on other movie sets.
In other interviews, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told cops she is who ‘loads the guns and hands them to the actors’
In another message that day, Burris told Halls: ‘All of this says to me, in my opinion, is that the people with money and power are using you as a scapegoat knowing you can’t afford to fight the press of legal bills and that they don’t care about you at all. Notice I don’t see much of AB in the press and haven’t heard about any of the producing team. Not one thing.’
Halls is filmed giving investigators a swab of his DNA and his fingerprints in one of the interviews.
Of all of the people involved in the shooting, he has said the least in the six months since it happened.
Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old armorer, has repeatedly issued statements protesting her innocence. She said she was overworked on set.
In bodycam footage that emerged yesterday, she is seen telling police that she is worried her career is over as a result of the accident.
In her own police interview, she told the investigators: ‘I check the guns and I load the guns and I hand the guns to the actor.’
‘We went to set, we had the guns on set. I dummied the guns up with the dummy rounds. Nothing happened and then we came back from lunch and…’
At one point, Hutchins’ top layer of clothing was taken off to help paramedics who were working to save her
Hutchins was also filmed being wheeled out of the church on a trolley while being given oxygen, before being put into a med-e-vac helicopter and airlifted away
Discarded medical materials inside the church after the fatal shooting
Crime scene photos show bloody gauze at the scene that was used by paramedics before Hutchins was taken away
Bloody tissues and a script with a dirty foot print on it inside the church