Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza says the criminal case into the shooting on the “Rust” film set remains wide open six months after Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“I don’t think anybody is off the hook when it comes to criminal charges,” Mendoza said Tuesday morning in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.
Mendoza said the investigations into the shooting still haven’t uncovered how live ammunition might have come onto the set or who was ultimately responsible.
“No one’s come forward and admitted to bringing the live rounds onto the movie set,” Mendoza said. “There was information from text messages that was concerning based on the fact that live ammo was spoken about and was possibly used on a prior movie set, and that was just a few months before the ‘Rust’ movie set and production began.”
Baldwin’s attorneys had said last week that a fine of nearly $137,000 levid on the “Rust” production by New Mexico safety regulators had “exonerated” their client for shooting Hutchins and director Joel Souz, who was injured but recovered.
“We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter,” lawyer Luke Nikas wrote in a note posted to Baldwin’s Instagram page. “We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds and that his authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting.
“Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico authorities have clarified these critical issues,” Nikas added. We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy.”
Mendoza’s remarks also came a day after his office released a trove of documents and videos related to the investigation, including footage from the moments after the gun held by Baldwin discharged.
The Oct. 21, 2021 video shows Hutchins on the ground surrounded by first responders as they worked to save her with members of the “Rust” production crew nearby.