The investigation into the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin is ongoing, and the New Mexico prosecutor handling the case said authorities are awaiting analysis of key forensic evidence. before they can decide whether criminal charges will be filed. .
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies provided the update in a social media post Wednesday, saying her office only received parts of the investigation from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
Forensic analysis of the weapon, a review of Baldwin’s cellphone data and more from FBI and state medical examiners are still pending.
The screening process by prosecutors will begin once sheriff’s investigators receive the information and complete their supplemental reports. To expedite the process, Carmack-Altwies retained the services of a special prosecutor — retired Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb of eastern New Mexico, who has more than two decades of experience.
“To remain transparent to the local and national community, the (district attorney’s office) will proactively release information as it becomes available,” Carmack-Altwies said.
A live ammunition killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza during a rehearsal on Oct. 21, 2021. Filming for Western “Rust” took place at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe city. .
In the filings released so far, investigators have described complacency, disorganization and neglected security measures during the making of the low-budget film.
Dutch Merrick is a gunsmith and props master for television and film, which means he knows first-hand how actors and film crews are supposed to be protected from firearms on set. He joined LX News host Ashley Holt to talk about the accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film ‘Rust’ and every step that should have stopped it from happening. .
Videos released by investigators show a debriefing with Baldwin hours after the fatal shooting and rehearsal clips that show Baldwin in a suit as he practices a quick draw maneuver with a firearm.
Baldwin had told investigators that when the gun went off he was initially unaware Hutchins would die and was shocked to learn he was holding a gun loaded with live ammunition. Baldwin, who was also the film’s producer, said the gun should have been empty for a rehearsal without shooting.
In April, the New Mexico Office of Occupational Health and Safety delivered a scathing account of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols. It included testimonies that production managers had taken little or no action to remedy two previous on-set misfires, complaints from crew members that went unheeded, and reports that weapons specialists n were not authorized to make decisions regarding additional safety training.
Rust Movie Productions disputes the findings and the sanction.