Cinema Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot, and director Joel Souza was injured during a rehearsal on a stage in the film on the New Mexico set in October.
“Right now, no one has come forward and admitted to having brought the live rounds on the film set. There was information from text messages that were worrying based on talk of live ammunition and possibly being used on a previous one. the film set and it was just a few months before the production of the ‘Rust’ film set began, so that’s worrying, “said Sheriff Mendoza.
Among the items investigators are looking at are text messages “Rust” film armor master Hannah Gutierrez Reed shared with an ammunition supplier for an earlier film in 2021 – not “Rust” – where she said she planned to shoot sharp ammunition while on the set. .
The text exchange was included in Monday’s public release of files related to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office’s ongoing investigation.
A law enforcement official told CNN that they consider the text exchange important as they try to determine if the armored man practiced performing live-fire drills while being responsible for the safety of sets.
Gutierrez Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles told CNN that his client wanted to fire the gun to understand how the historic weapon worked, and maintains that she did not fire live rounds on the set.
Mendoza said the investigation of the case is on more than 200 pages right now and that they are still waiting for forensic reports from the FBI and the final report from the medical investigator’s office.
“It’s hard to decide right now which way the case should go,” he said. “I’ve said it before, I think there was complacency on the set. There was disorganization and some degree of negligence. Whether it comes up to a criminal level, it will be up to the district attorney.”
He also said whether actor Alec Baldwin will eventually be held responsible for the shot that killed the film’s film photographer and injured the assistant director will be left to the District Attorney’s office.
“I do not think anyone has come to a standstill when it comes to criminal charges,” Mendoza said.
In an attempt to be “transparent” about the “Rust” shooting investigation, Sheriff Mendoza said the extensive disclosure was part of a request for public records.
“As you can see, it’s a huge amount of information and it took us a while to put it together and we tried to release it as soon as we had it all and we had an opportunity to release the information,” Mendoza said. .