The Santa Fe District Attorney investigating the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin‘s Western movie Rust said neither the actor nor anyone else who was on set is clear of potential criminal charges until the probe concludes.
DA Mary Carmack-Altwies appeared to be responding to Baldwin’s claim during his 90-minute interview with ABC this week that he was unlikely to face any charges and that he supposedly never pulled the trigger on the gun that went off in his hands, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
In a statement released on Friday, Carmack-Altwies maintained that ‘certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust.’
She also vowed to use her ‘prosecutorial discretion to its fullest, including filing charges that are supported by probable cause.’
‘Everyone involved in the handling and use of firearms on the set had a duty to behave in a manner such that the safety of others was protected, and it appears that certain actions and inactions contributed to this outcome,’ Carmack-Altwies said.
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Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies vowed to use her ‘prosecutorial discretion to its fullest, including filing charges that are supported by probable cause’ in fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust
A teary-eyed Baldwin claimed on ABC that he was unlikely to face any charges despite the fact that he was holding the gun that went off and killed Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins was described by Baldwin as ‘fantastic’, as he paid tribute to her on ABC
Carmack-Altwies did not say when the investigation would conclude, but a source told Deadline that investigators with the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office were unhappy with Baldwin’s interview on ABC.
‘Baldwin is testing the department’s patience and becoming a distraction to the ongoing investigation,’ the source said.
During his lengthy interview with George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, a tearful Baldwin, 63, said that he would have killed himself if he felt responsible for shooting Hutchins.
He then said he does not feel guilty and believes he won’t face charges for the accident.
Baldwin maintains that he didn’t pull the trigger and that the gun just ‘went off’ while in his hands on the set of the movie in New Mexico on October 21.
‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud,’ he said.
During the ABC interview on Thursday, Baldwin also denied pulling the trigger on the gun
The actor told George Stephanopoulos that he does not feel guilty about the incident
The actor also revealed that he didn’t know she’d died until hours later, at the end of his police interview when he was photographed in the sheriff’s parking lot in Santa Fe, and that he’s been told by people ‘in the know’ that it is ‘highly unlikely’ he’ll face criminal charges.
‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but it’s not me.
The Oscar-nominated actor said that he had been handed the antique gun and told it was safe, and he trusted the people who told him that.
‘The gun was supposed to be empty,’ Baldwin added. ‘I was told I was handed an empty gun.’
Among those were Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer, and Dave Halls, the assistant director.
Hutchins’ October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Halls, an experienced assistant director, is pictured on the set of Rust, outside Santa Fe in New Mexico
Bryan W. Carpenter, a weapons armorer who works for Dark Thirty Film Services, said he was skeptical that Baldwin never pulled the trigger.
‘In order to make it fire, you have to put your thumb up onto the hammer, cock the hammer all the way back, and then as the hammer is completely cocked back, then you pull the trigger and then the gun fires,’ Carpenter told Fox News. ‘So that’s very important because that gun had to have two step process to fire. It had to be cocked and the trigger pulled to fire.’
Carpenter continued: ‘Once you cock the hammer back on one of those old west guns, it doesn’t take a lot to set that trigger off.’
His comments come after Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza told the outlet that ‘guns don’t just go off. So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, [Baldwin] did that and it was in his hands.’
But Lisa Tarraco, attorney for Halls – who along with Baldwin and set armorer Gutierrez Reed are the focus of Mendoza’s investigation – says she was told by her client that Baldwin did not pull the trigger.
‘Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger,’ Torraco told GMA. ‘His finger was never in the trigger guard.’
Lisa Tarraco, attorney for Assistant Director Dave Halls says she was told by her client that Baldwin did not pull the trigger
Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (center) died after being shot by Baldwin during a rehearsal on October 21
The gun prepared by the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, discharged in Baldwin’s hands as it was aimed at Hutchins
She added that she would be ‘shocked’ if her client were charged in connection with the incident and that this ordeal has been ‘very, very painful and very hard for him.’
Detectives are currently investigating whether Seth Kenney, a 51-year-old Hollywood veteran who was supposed to provide the film with dummy rounds and blanks, may have sent recycled bullets from a previous set, according to an affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
It was revealed that the bullet that killed Hutchins, may have been a homemade bullet that a New Mexico armorer supplied from a previous film where makeshift ammunition was used to train actors at a firing range.
In the weeks following the shooting, several former crew members have spoken out about what they called an unsafe environment on the set.
Two weeks ago, the script supervisor Mamie Mitchell tearfully announced that she was suing Baldwin and accused him of playing ‘Russian Roulette’ when he fired a gun without checking it first to make sure it was not loaded, and further claimed that the scene being filmed did not call for the firing of the gun.
The suit names 22 defendants associated with the film, including Baldwin, Rust producers, six production companies – El Dorado Pictures, Thomasville Pictures, Short Porch Pictures, Brittany House Pictures, 3rd Shift Media and Streamline Global – armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, First Assistant Director David Halls and others.
Mitchell, a 40-year industry veteran, was standing close to Hutchins when the bullet fired from Baldwin’s gun killed her and then injured director Joel Souza.
Mamie Mitchell (left) and attorney Gloria Allred laid out their lawsuit regarding the shooting – which alleges assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm
The suit claims assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and deliberate infliction of harm. It also states that the scene being shot did not require a gun to be fired.
‘I ran out and called 911 and said, ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,”’ Mitchell said during a press conference. ‘This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.’
Serge Svetnoy, the head electrician who held Hutchins in his arms as she died has also sued Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls over ‘severe emotional distress’ after the fatal shooting and revealed that the scene did not call for Baldwin to fire the gun.
Svetnoy filed the suit against the three crew members – as well as others, who remain unnamed – and claimed that their alleged negligence led to the shooting and put him in emotional turmoil.
Svetnoy alleged in the court documents that the bullet struck director Joel Souza, 48, and killed Hutchins nearly hit him, too, according to TMZ.
He also said that he was one of the first people to tend to Halyna while she was bleeding out and attempted to keep her conscious.
He told TMZ that he’s suing Baldwin because he ‘owed a duty to the Plaintiff and other crew members and actors on the ‘Rust’ set to handle the Colt Revolver provided to him by Defendant Halls with reasonable care and diligence for the safety of ‘Rust’ cast and crew.’
Head electrician on the Rust movie set Serge Svetnoy (left), who held dying Hutchins (right) in his arms has sued Baldwin, rookie armorer Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Halls over ‘severe emotional distress’ after the fatal shooting
Luper Lane has criticized the film’s production as one that created the perfect storm for the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Lane Luper, who served as the film’s A-camera first assistant, said he quit one day before the fatal shooting because employees were being overworked, COVID-safety was not being enforced properly and gun safety was poor.
‘I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,’ he told Good Morning America about the events that led up to the fatal shooting.
‘It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.’
In his letter of resignation, Luper said there had been two accidental weapon discharges on set and one accidental sound-effects explosion that went off around the crew.
‘There have been NO explanations as to what to expect for these shots. When anyone from production is asked we are usually met with the same answers about not having enough time to complete the day if we rehearse or that ‘this is a 21 day shoot,” Luper wrote in the letter.
He added that the crew grew exhausted of long commutes from the set to their lodging, which for some more than two hours away.
‘In my 10 years as a camera assistant I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,’ Luper said.
In a statement to Sky News, a spokesperson for the producers hit back at his claims, saying: ‘Mr. Luper’s allegations around budget and safety are patently false, which is not surprising considering his job was to be a camera operator, and he had absolutely nothing to do with it or knowledge of safety protocols or budgets.
‘As we continue to cooperate with all investigations, we are limited in what we can say,’ the spokesperson continued. ‘However, safety is always the number one priority.’
‘He’s supposed to check the guns, he’s responsible’: Panicked 911 calls from Alec Baldwin tragedy reveal how script supervisor blamed assistant director for death of cinematographer – but why did ANY of the guns have live ammo?
The audio recordings of 911 calls made by the crew of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust have revealed desperate attempts to save their colleague, and allegations of negligence.
Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor of the film, made the call after Baldwin accidentally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and director Joel Souza, 48.
The group were filming the Western film in the desert outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, when the tragedy happened on October 21.
In her call, Mitchell, a veteran script supervisor with credits dating back to 1974, points the finger at the assistant director, accusing him of negligence.
Mitchell calls 911 and tells the woman answering: ‘We need an ambulance out at Bonanza Creek Ranch right now. We have had two people accidentally shot on a movie set accidentally.’
While she is on the phone, Mitchell is instructing another person to ‘clear the road’ to allow the ambulance easy access to the site.
Mitchell is then transferred to the Santa Fe fire and EMS, and, sounding panicked, urges a swift response.
‘Bonanza Creek ranch. We have had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun.
‘We need help immediately. Bonanza Creek ranch. Come on.’
David Halls is the Assistant Director of Rust, the Western movie Baldwin was acting in and producing when he accidentally killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza
The 911 operators then asks Mitchell for her details.
Mitchell, who has worked on films including No Country For Old Men, Sicario and 3:10 to Yuma, can be heard saying: ‘It sounds like somebody else is calling for ambulances.
‘Everybody should be. We need some help.
‘Our director and our camerawoman has been shot.’
She then asks someone on set: ‘Are they going to take him to the road?’
The 911 operator asks: ‘So, was it loaded with a real bullet or what?’
Mitchell replies: ‘I don’t, I cannot tell you that. We have two injuries from a movie gunshot.’
While the phone operator is inputting the details, Mitchell can be heard telling someone else: ‘OK, this f****** AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherf*****.
‘Did you see him lean over my desk and yell at me? He’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happened.’
According to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court, the gun was one of three that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted.
Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.
It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio.
It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say.
On the call, the 911 operator tries to ask Mitchell how many people were injured and, confused, Mitchell replies: ‘No, no, I’m a script supervisor.’
The operator asks again, and Mitchell says: ‘Two that I know of. I was sitting there rehearsing and it went off and I ran out. We all went out there, but doubled over the camerawoman and the director.’
She tells another person: ‘They are clearing the road, can you go back – back in the town, back in the Western camp.’
The operator asks if there is any serious bleeding, and Mitchell, flustered, hands the phone over to a man.
‘Hello?’ the man says.
‘Hi, I have a protocol of questions I need to ask. If you could answer them as best you can,’ the 911 operator says. ‘Are they completely alert?’
The man replies: ‘Yes, they are alert.’
The operator asks if the bleeding is controlled, and the man replies: ‘Let’s see if I’m allowed to get closer… No.’
It is unclear if he is saying that the bleeding is not controlled, or that he is not able to get closer.
‘We’ve got one laying down,’ he tells the operator, adding that they are near gate one and have a van ready to escort the ambulances quickly to the precise spot.
A devastated Baldwin is pictured bent over outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office after speaking to investigators
A woman then calls back saying: ‘Hi, I am calling back from Bonanza Creek Ranch. We actually need two ambulances not one.’
The operator replies: ‘OK, so we’re doing a call now for somebody else and we’ll get two up to you.’
The woman, her voice showing the strain, replies: ‘OK. And that’s 10 to 15 minutes?’
‘I don’t know – we’re getting them right now, to you now,’ the operator replies.
‘What? What?’ the woman says, sounding panicked as she speaks to someone else.
‘We have two ambulances heading your way.’
‘What?’ the woman says, then returns speaking to the operator: ‘OK, thank you.’
The operator replies: ‘You’re welcome, bye.’
Mitchell later said she was standing next to Hutchins when she was shot.
‘I ran out and called 911 and said ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,’ Mitchell told The Associated Press.
‘This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.’
Mitchell said she and other crew members were attending a private memorial service in Santa Fe.
Baldwin described the killing as a ‘tragic accident.’
‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,’ Baldwin wrote on Twitter.
‘My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.’
No immediate charges were filed, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was permitted to travel.
‘He’s a free man,’ Rios said.