The Santa Fe County Sheriff today released “all files associated with our ongoing investigation” into the shooting of DP Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Alec Baldwin-starring film Rust last year. Baldwin was holding the gun when it discharged.
“Today the sheriff’s office is releasing all files associated with our ongoing investigation,” said Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza. “The files are all related to the Rust movie set investigation and include lapel/dash camera footage from deputies and detectives, incident reports, crime scene photos, examination reports, witness interviews, set video and staff photos collected throughout the course of this investigation,” said Mendoza.
The Sheriff’s office also said the investigation remains “open and ongoing.”
Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza wounded by a bullet fired from gun held by Alec Baldwin, who has said that he was told that the gun was not loaded. He has also claimed that he did not pull the trigger and that it must have misfired as he pointed the gun toward the camera during rehearsals October 21 at the Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Santa Fe.
According to Sheriff Mendoza, “various components of the investigation remain outstanding including, FBI firearm and ballistic forensics along with DNA and latent fingerprint analysis, Office of the New Mexico Medical Examiner findings report and the analysis of Mr. Alec Baldwin’s phone data extracted by Suffolk County Sheriff’s Investigators.”
“Once these investigative components are provided to the sheriff’s office we will be able to complete the investigation to forward it to the Santa Fe District Attorney for review,” said Sheriff Mendoza.
An attorney for Alec Baldwin said late last week that Wednesday’s report by the New Mexico safety regulators “exonerates” his client. The report cites “serious management failures” by the Rust production company in its investigation of the on-set shooting that killed Hutchins and badly injured director Joel Souza last year.
The film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed also declared a degree of vindication after the safety report’s release Wednesday.
“After OSHA’s very comprehensive safety investigation involving numerous interviews and review of documents, it has concluded that production willfully failed to follow national gun safety standards, which caused this tragedy,” Reed’s lawyer Jason Bowles told Deadline on Wednesday. “OSHA found that Hannah Gutierrez Reed was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns,” the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based attorney noted.
In the damning report, Rust Movie Productions LLC and its management were hit with a maximum $136,793 fine by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for its “willful and serious” violation of workplace safety procedures during the filming of the indie Western.