In a press conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, investigators addressed the latest news concerning the fatal Rust set shooting.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that “it was a bullet” that struck and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, not a mishap with a blank round.
Sheriff Mendoza stated that a bullet from a .45 Long Colt was recovered from the shoulder of Souza; that was believed to be the same round that fatally struck Hutchins, but it needs to be forensically confirmed.
That projectile was removed from Souza by doctors, and handed over to investigators for analysis, he explained.
Mendoza also mentioned “approximately 500 rounds of ammunition” were recovered from the New Mexico set, including, “a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting were live rounds.”
Blank rounds contain no lead bullet, but emit a muzzle flash when fired, and can still be harmful without proper precautions.
Dummy rounds are just empty cartridges that are meant to look like functioning bullets.
Live rounds are actual bullets — and have no place on a movie set.
The District Attorney on the case, Mary Carmack Altwies, told journalists that while it’s too early in the investigation to say, charges against Alec Baldwin have not been ruled out.
“If the facts and evidence and law support charges, then I will initiate charges at that time,” she said of anyone involved.
Investigators have already spoken to Baldwin, as well as the movie’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez, as well as the movie’s assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the pistol to Baldwin, after declaring it a “cold” — that is an empty — gun.
Baldwin not only fired the fatal shot, but he was also a producer on the Western.
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