Police Confirm That Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ Gun Fired A Live Bullet And Say The Production Was Plagued By ‘Complacency’ Toward Safety Issues

As the investigation into the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust continues, authorities have confirmed earlier reports that the gun fired by Alec Baldwin did contain a live bullet. In a press conference on Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adam Mendoza revealed the ballistic findings concluded that a lead projectile was fired from the gun and was recovered from the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who was wounded by the same bullet that killed Hutchins.

Mendoza also chastised filmmakers for the lack of safety protocols on the Rust set, which have also been frequently reported since the shooting took place. Via Reuters:

Asked about the use of real weapons on a movie set, the sheriff said, “I think the industry has had a record recently of being safe. I think there was some complacency on this set. And I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico.”

As for possible charges, Deadline reports that the sheriff’s office is not ruling out anyone “at this point.” However, they say, it is still too early in the investigation to comment on that aspect of the story.

“The investigation will continue and if the Sheriff’s Office determines during our investigation that a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed,” Mendoza said.

While Mendoza’s comments sound ominous, legal experts believe Baldwin is the least likely to be charged despite being the one to fire the gun. Armorer Hannah Reed-Gutierrez and Assistant Director David Halls are in a more precarious situation as they were both responsible for firearm safety on set. However, Mendoza said in his comments on Wednesday that Reed-Gutierrez and Halls have been fully cooperating with the investigation, as has Baldwin.

(Via Reuters, Deadline)