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Sheriff's Office Releases Evidence in Fatal "Rust" Shooting

The Sante Fe County Sheriff's Office releases a trove of evidence from its investigation into the fatal shooting on the set of the Western film.
Sheriff's Office Releases Evidence in Fatal "Rust" Shooting

According to The Wall Street Journal, "The files from the Sheriff’s Office include hours of witness interviews, video of the shooting’s aftermath on set and texts and email messages among crew members, providing an unusual look into the continuing criminal probe."

"During the Oct. 21 incident, actor Alec Baldwin discharged a live round from a revolver, killing Halyna Hutchins, the film’s 42-year-old cinematographer, and wounding director Joel Souza," write Katherine Sayre and Dan Frosch for The Wall Street Journal.

Several key pieces of information emerged from Monday’s release including: the armorer had asked about using live rounds on a previous film (which unsettled the sheriff), Baldwin was unaware of the earlier problems on set and had been questioned about his handling of the gun, and who else had possession of the gun on set is still disputed.

‘Rust’ Shooting Probe: Top Takeaways From Hours of Video, Texts and Photos (Katherine Sayre & Dan Frosch - The Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armorer in charge of weapons on set, is one of the people investigators have focused on in their probe. Text messages showed that Reed, during work on a different film a few months before "Rust," inquired about using live rounds during that production. Ms. Reed asked Seth Kenney, a weapons supplier to the film industry if she could "shoot hot rounds out of the trap door…like a pretty big load of actual ammunition." In the August 2021 text conversation, Mr. Kenney wrote she should never use live ammunition, only blanks. "It’s a serious mistake, always ends in tears," Kenney texted. "Good to know, I’m still gonna shoot mine tho," Ms. Gutierrez Reed replied.
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The release of documents comes several days after a New Mexico agency delivered a stinging rebuke of the managers behind the “Rust” production, levying its maximum fine of $136,793 for safety violations that led to the death of Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to Sheriff Adan 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.”

‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m sorry.’ Documents reveal new details about ‘Rust’ shooting (Julia Wick & Wendy Lee - Los Angeles Times)

*This link includes footage of Baldwin rehearsing scene inside church.

Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times: In an interview several hours after the shooting, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed told detectives that the box of supposed dummy rounds had been provided approximately a week before by weapons provider Seth Kenney. Reed sued Kenney in January, alleging he supplied a mismarked box of ammunition containing live rounds to the set. Kenney has said he did not supply live rounds to "Rust," including the one that Baldwin fired. At some point after the shooting, [Director Joel] Souza recalled that Gutierrez Reed stood over him, "hysterically yelling 'I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m sorry."
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Body cam footage of the aftermath of the shooting was also released on Monday, which shows "Alec Baldwin’s gruff attitude during his first interaction with police after he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins," reports the New York Post.

Dramatic bodycam footage shows gruff Alec Baldwin talking to cops after fatal ‘Rust’ shooting (Gabrielle Fonrouge & Evan Simko-Bednarski - New York Post)

*This link includes images of Baldwin immediately after shooting.

Excerpt from the New York Post: "My understanding is, you were in the room when the lady," a responding deputy with the sheriff’s office says to Baldwin in the clip before trailing off. "I was the one holding the gun, yea," Baldwin replies in a gruff tone. "What do you need?" The deputy told Baldwin, 64, to sit tight and not speak to anyone else as they worked to secure the scene and take statements from the witnesses.
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