‘Rust’ Investigation Still Ongoing Six Months After On-Set Shooting, Authorities Say


The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said Monday the investigation into the shooting on the set of Rust last year—when a gun in Alec Baldwin’s hand fired and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins—is still open and ongoing more than six months after the incident occurred.

Key Facts

In a news release, Sheriff Adan Mendoza said “various components of the investigation remain outstanding,” including FBI firearm and ballistic forensics, DNA and latent fingerprint analysis, a medical examiner’s report and analysis of data from Baldwin’s cell phone.

Once the remaining tasks are completed or provided to the sheriff’s department, ”we will be able to complete the investigation to forward it to the Santa Fe District Attorney for review,” Mendoza said.

In addition to the update on the status of the investigation, the sheriff’s department released a trove of materials associated with the investigation, including video footage from officers, witness interviews, crime scene photos and reports.

No one has been charged in relation to the shooting.

What We Don’t Know

It’s still unknown how much longer it will take the sheriff’s department to complete the investigation, when the investigation will be handed over to the district attorney’s office and whether the district attorney will press criminal charges related to the shooting.

Key Background

On October 21, a prop gun in Baldwin’s hand fired during an impromptu rehearsal, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin has said he did not pull the gun’s trigger and did not know the gun was loaded with live bullets, which were not supposed to be present on set. Last week, the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau issued a maximum fine to the movie’s production company for knowing “that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set” and demonstrating “plain indifference to employee safety,” which the agency said led to the fatal shooting. Baldwin’s lawyer said the report “exonerates” him, because it showed that Baldwin didn’t believe the gun was loaded with live ammo and that his job as a producer on the film was limited to creative decisions like casting. Baldwin and others were sued by Hutchins’ family for wrongful death, and Hutchins’ widower Matthew has said it’s “absurd” that Baldwin does not believe he’s responsible for the cinematographer’s loss of life.

Further Reading

Alec Baldwin Boasts About ‘Rust’ Shooting Report He Claims ‘Exonerates’ Him (Forbes)

‘Rust’ Production Company Fined For Not Following Safety Procedures That Led To Shooting (Forbes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.