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Sheriff's Office Completes 'Rust' Shooting Investigation, Passes Findings Onto District Attorney's Office

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said her office will conduct a "thorough" review of the case to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on the "Rust" film set in October 2021.

By Jill Sederstrom
Alec Baldwin Fires Prop Gun On Set, Killing One

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department has completed its investigation into the “Rust” on-set shooting and handed its findings over to the district attorney’s office, who will be tasked with making any decisions regarding charges.

I received the Santa Fe County Sheriff's investigative report on the Rust movie set incident,” First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies confirmed in a statement Friday. “Now I and my team will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.”

“As with all cases that my office handles, the focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the State of New Mexico, and pursuing justice,” she continued.

Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told Oxygen.com there is “no set deadline” for when the prosecutor may make charging decisions in the case.

RELATED: 'Rust' Cinematographer's Family Settles Lawsuit Against Alec Baldwin, Other Producers

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the New Mexico film set in Oct. 21, 2021 after a prop gun actor Alec Baldwin was holding discharged and struck her in the chest. The 42-year-old later died at a New Mexico hospital from her injuries.

The same bullet that tore through the cinematographer’s body also struck director Joel Souza, who survived with injuries.

Baldwin insisted during an interview with ABC News last year that he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the antique revolver, but an FBI report later concluded that the .45 caliber Colt replica F.IIi Peitta single-action revolver could not have fired unless the trigger was pulled.

Halyna Hutchins G

Baldwin told police, according to interview footage released earlier this year by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, that he had been handed the weapon by first assistant director David Halls, who had told him it was a “cold gun” — meaning there were no live bullets in the revolver — while they were rehearsing a scene for the movie on the afternoon of Oct. 21, 2021.

“He said we had a cold gun on set and handed me the gun,” Baldwin insisted in a telephone interview, according to footage previously obtained by Oxygen.com.

Authorities have been trying to determine as part of the months-long investigation by the sheriff’s office how the live bullets got into the weapon.  

Baldwin was named alongside the movie’s armor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and others connected to the production in a wrongful death suit brought on by Hutchins’ family.

He reached a settlement agreement with the family earlier this month, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Although the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, the intent of the agreement was to allow production of the movie to continue with Hutchins’ widow, Matthew Hutchins, now serving as an executive producer of the film, Deadline reports.

In a letter to the New Mexico State Finance Board in August, Carmack-Altwies requested $635K from the state to prosecute as many as four individuals in the case, including Baldwin as a “one of the possible defendants,” according to the news outlet.

Carmack-Altwies was ultimately awarded $317,750.

Brewer confirmed to Oxygen.com that the funding request had said “up to four” jury trials could be held in the case.

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting last week, Carmack-Altwies said in a statement that she remained “committed to pursuing justice for the victims, and getting answers for the community.”

“No one is above the law and every victim deserves justice,” she said.

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