‘Rust’ investigation report sent to prosecutors
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than a year after the deadly “Rust” movie set shooting, the investigation into the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins took another step forward.
On Thursday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office turned over its completed investigative report to prosecutors, signaling that the next step is for the district attorney to decide whether anyone will face charges.
Both agencies confirmed the development to KOB 4.
A spokesperson for Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement:
“The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges. As with all cases that the District Attorney handles, her focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice.”
Last month, Carmack-Altwies said there are up to four people who she may charge, including the film’s star and producer Alec Baldwin, and the charges her office is looking at range from gun statute violations to homicide.
While rehearsing a scene inside a church on set, Baldwin was holding a prop gun when it went off. The bullet hit and killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
Evidence shows that the bullet was a live round, something all protocols show should never be on a set.
Interviews with witnesses show no one is accepting blame, including Baldwin and the film’s 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of the guns on set and has been the subject of several lawsuits.
Among the hundreds of pages of texts investigators looked through are messages showing an argument a few days before the shooting between Gutierrez-Reed and someone else involved about accidents and mistakes happening on set.
Not all the messages that may have been on Baldwin’s phone have been released.
FBI records released in August show the revolver was fully functional, and Baldwin’s claim the gun fired as he pulled the hammer back – but without him pulling the trigger – is unlikely.
Investigators have questioned other crew members, including assistant director Dave Halls, who was in charge of set safety.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has been critical of how the crew managed the set.
“I think there was complacency on the set, there was disorganization, and a degree of negligence,” he said.
An Office of the Medical Investigator report classifies Hutchins’ death as accidental.
The movie is set to resume filming in January. The company announced it will have “all original principal players,” but there will be some changes.
It will not film in New Mexico. The team is considering locations in California, and Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, will be the executive producer.