If Alec Baldwin hoped that the whole world would be listening when he sat down with George Stephanopoulos in his first public interview since the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of Rust, he may have been disappointed that his emotional sit-down ended up in last place for that night’s network ratings. But at least one person did hear the Oscar-nominated actor very publicly proclaim his innocence by stating that, “I did not pull the trigger” and “Someone is responsible for what happened. And I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me”—and she’s none too happy about it.
According to Deadline, Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, the woman tasked with handling the investigation into Hutchins’s death, is reportedly displeased that Baldwin chose to use his celebrity status to tell his side of the story in such a public manner before they have finished their work. On Friday, the day after Baldwin’s interview, Carmack-Altwies stated that “certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust.”
Carmack-Altwies says she plans to “exercise my prosecutorial discretion to its fullest, including filing charges that are supported by probable cause,” and explained that she and her office were “exploring various legal theories at the time.”
To many, the comment was a direct response to Baldwin’s interview, in which he told Stephanopoulos that he had been told it was “highly unlikely” he’d face any criminal charges in the accidental on-set shooting, which resulted in Hutchins’s death and injuries to director Joel Souza. While Baldwin insists that he did not pull the trigger, firearms experts have expressed doubt about that statement.
After being interviewed immediately following the incident and later by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, authorities asked that neither Baldwin nor the rest of Rust’s cast and crew make any public comments about what is still an ongoing investigation. Baldwin’s decision to go directly against this request has reportedly not sat well with those investigating the shooting. A source told Deadline that the Sheriff’s Office felt “betrayed after all the consideration given to Baldwin in the aftermath of the shooting,” while another source stated that “Baldwin is testing the department’s patience and becoming a distraction to the ongoing investigation.”
“As the First Judicial District Attorney, I have not made a decision to charge or not charge any individuals involved in the shooting that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins and injury of Joel Souza,” Carmack-Altwies said. According to Deadline, it could be several more weeks until the investigation is concluded.