LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities provided news details Wednesday about the shooting death of a cinematographer on a film set in Santa Fe, New Mexico last week when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun during rehearsal.
In a morning news conference, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that a single live round from Baldwin’s Pietta Colt .45 revolver hit and killed 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins and wounded 42-year-old Joel Souza.
Mendoza disclosed that a total of about 500 rounds of ammunition were seized from the movie set. They included blanks, dummy rounds and, likely, other live rounds.
“We have recovered what we believe to be possible, additional, live rounds on set,” Mendoza said.
There were no other live rounds found in Baldwin’s gun, Mendoza said.
Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said prosecutors have not however decided whether to bring criminal charges.
“If the facts and evidence and law sustain charges, than I will begin prosecution at that time,” Carmack-Altwies told reporters Wednesday.
On the afternoon of Oct. 21, Hutchins, the director of photography on the Western film “Rust,” and Souza, the film’s director, were shot when actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe.
The 63-year-old Baldwin was inside a church building, sitting on a wooden pew, rehearsing unholstering his prop gun and pointing it at the camera when he fired it, according to a search warrant filed by investigators. Hutchins was hit in the chest and Souza in the shoulder.
Hutchins was rushed by helicopter to a hospital, where she died. Souza survived.
Mendoza confirmed that the fired bullet was removed by doctors from Souza’s shoulder.
“We regard this specific spent casing, and recovered projectile, to be the live round that was fired from the revolver by Mr. Baldwin,” Mendoza said.
There were about 16 people inside the church at the time of the shooting, and a total of about 90 on set.
The “loaded firearm” was “handled and/or inspected” by armor Hannah Gutierrez Reed and assistant director Dave Halls prior to it being fired by Baldwin, Mendoza said.
According to the affidavit filed by investigators, Halls had handed Baldwin the prop gun and yelled that it was a “cold gun,” meaning it was not loaded with live ammunition. Reed had purportedly brought three guns to the set on a rolling cart, one of which was handed to Baldwin, according to the search warrant.
Halls told detectives he did not know that there were live rounds in the gun, the affidavit reads.
Earlier that day, prior to the shooting, several camera operators and assistants had walked off the set to protest working conditions, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend.
Several crew members also told the Times that on Oct. 16, Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two rounds from a gun he had also been told was cold.
Meanwhile Sharon Waxman, editor in chief of The Wrap, told CBSLA Tuesday that multiple people may have handled the gun the day of the shooting.
“Crew members who had gone off and done sort of, passing the time, fun, shooting at targets out in the desert, before this shooting occurred. With guns from the set, including the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins,” Waxman said.
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