Six months after Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer on the set of the film “Rust,” elevating questions on who was culpable and the way reside ammunition acquired onto the set, the Santa Fe County sheriff’s workplace mentioned Monday it nonetheless lacked key items of proof, together with ballistics evaluation, that it mentioned it wanted to finish its felony investigation.
The sheriff’s workplace mentioned the watch for proof because it took the step of releasing a trove of recordsdata referring to the “Rust” investigation, together with witness interviews; lapel and sprint digicam footage; crime scene images; textual content messages between members of the crew within the days earlier than and after the capturing; and movies of Mr. Baldwin working towards with the gun within the church the place the lethal capturing occurred.
The workplace has been investigating the demise of the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, who was shot and killed in New Mexico on Oct. 21 through the rehearsal for a scene that required Mr. Baldwin to attract a duplicate old style revolver from a shoulder holster that he had been advised contained no reside ammunition.
The gun went off, discharging a bullet that killed Ms. Hutchins and injured Joel Souza, the movie’s director. Since then, the sheriff’s workplace in Santa Fe has been gathering proof and investigating the circumstances surrounding the capturing.
The recordsdata launched Monday included new particulars concerning the case, together with a report of a cellphone name that one investigator, Detective Alexandria Hancock, had on Nov. 3 with Mr. Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin mentioned that he had pulled the hammer of the gun about three-quarters of the best way again after which let the hammer go, at which level the gun discharged, the report mentioned.
Mr. Baldwin advised Detective Hancock that his finger had been on the set off however that he didn’t pull the set off, it mentioned.
Detective Hancock wrote that she tried to elucidate to him that if his “finger was on the set off, and if he was pulling the hammer again along with his thumb, his index finger might have nonetheless had sufficient stress on the set off for him to depress it.”
She added that “Alec suggested he by no means tries to drag the set off on a gun until they’re rolling the digicam.”
However because it launched the brand new supplies, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned it nonetheless lacked vital constructing blocks of its investigation to have the ability to move the case to the Santa Fe County district lawyer for overview.
Sheriff Adan Mendoza mentioned in an announcement that “numerous elements of the investigation stay excellent,” together with firearm and ballistic forensics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DNA and latent fingerprint evaluation, a report from the New Mexico Medical Examiner’s workplace and the evaluation of Mr. Baldwin’s cellphone knowledge, which was extracted by investigators in Suffolk County, N.Y.
“As soon as these investigative elements are supplied to the sheriff’s workplace, we can full the investigation to ahead it to the Santa Fe district lawyer for overview,” Sheriff Mendoza mentioned in an announcement issued by his workplace.
Mary Carmack-Altwies, the Santa Fe County district lawyer, mentioned in an announcement on Monday that though investigators have despatched over a portion of their inquiry to her workplace, detectives can’t ship over a accomplished investigation till they obtain sure studies.
“As soon as we obtain the finished investigation and conduct an intensive and deliberate overview of all proof, a felony charging choice can be made,” Ms. Carmack-Altwies mentioned within the assertion.
The College of New Mexico, the place Ms. Hutchins’s post-mortem is being carried out, will not be but completed with its report, mentioned a spokesman, Mark Rudi.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace, Juan Rios, mentioned that the investigation was not taking longer than regular for what was “an advanced and convoluted case.”
He mentioned the workplace had determined to launch the recordsdata in bulk due to a number of requests from the media, and from attorneys concerned with the case, and since the workplace wished to indicate what was nonetheless excellent.
Perceive What Occurred on the Set of ‘Rust’
A deadly capturing. On Oct. 21, Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene that concerned a revolver on the set of the film “Rust.” The weapon fired, hitting Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer, and Joel Souza, the movie’s director. Ms. Hutchins died on account of the incident.
“That is an replace,” he mentioned. “We wished to establish what stays.”
The F.B.I.’s nationwide press workplace declined to remark concerning the time it was taking to finish its firearm and ballistic investigation, and directed inquiries to native legislation enforcement officers. Mr. Rios mentioned that the F.B.I. had indicated it was “ a number of weeks till they can ahead something to us” on its evaluation.
Regardless of months of gathering proof, it nonetheless stays unclear how reside bullets discovered their approach onto the movie set and the way one in every of them acquired into the gun that Mr. Baldwin was dealing with.
Investigators launched copies of textual content messages and emails pulled from the telephones of crew members that exposed discussions about security considerations earlier than the deadly capturing. Lane Luper, a digicam crew member who walked off the set with a number of different colleagues on the morning of Oct. 21, wrote an e-mail to manufacturing leaders saying that “issues are sometimes performed very quick and free” through the filming of gunfights. In textual content messages, the film’s prop grasp, Sarah Zachry, mentioned two unintentional discharges; one concerned her aiming a gun on the floor close to her foot, and one other concerned a stunt man.
The sheriff’s workplace mentioned it nonetheless lacked evaluation of the information from Mr. Baldwin’s cellphone, which he turned over to the police in Suffolk County in January.
Mr. Baldwin agreed to a course of during which he handed over his iPhone and its password, and the cellphone’s knowledge could be reviewed by officers from the Suffolk County police division and district lawyer’s workplace earlier than the related knowledge could be handed to the authorities in New Mexico. Mr. Rios mentioned that investigators in Suffolk County had but to supply the New Mexico investigators with data from Mr. Baldwin’s cellphone.
Final week, New Mexico state regulators faulted the producers of the film, discovering that the movie administration’s indifference to risks concerned in dealing with weapons on set had led to the demise of Ms. Hutchins, they usually issued a $136,793 penalty on the manufacturing firm, the utmost allowed below state legislation.
Footage from an officer’s physique digicam confirmed Mr. Souza, the movie’s director, on the emergency room getting therapy for his bullet wound quickly after the capturing, giving an interview simply earlier than he was given ache medicine.
“I appeared over and see the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, with blood popping out of her again,” Mr. Souza advised the officer. “Are you aware something about what’s happening along with her? Is she OK?”
The footage continued as medical professionals started to work on Mr. Souza, taking the bullet out of his physique.
“Is Halyna nonetheless alive?” Mr. Souza is heard saying. “Please inform me she’s nonetheless alive.”