The FBI has completed its ballistics analysis of evidence in the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust” last year, moving the investigation one step closer to completion.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the Oct. 21 shooting that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Detectives have been waiting for the FBI analysis before forwarding the case to prosecutors for consideration of potential charges.
Alec Baldwin was preparing to film a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a Western movie set outside Santa Fe, when his gun fired, striking Hutchins with a live round. The director, Joel Souza, was also injured. Much of the investigation has centered on how a live round made it onto the set, with a focus on armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, 24, who was working in that role on a film for just the second time.
Investigators are still waiting to receive Baldwin’s phone records, nearly seven months after the actor turned over his phone to the Suffolk County Police Department, in New York state. The Santa Fe investigators got a warrant to search the phone in December, after Baldwin declined to provide it voluntarily. Under an agreement with Baldwin’s lawyers, the office agreed to have the Suffolk County authorities search the phone and turn over any evidence relevant to the “Rust” shooting.
According to Juan Rios, spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, the Suffolk County authorities are still “actively assisting” the New Mexico authorities in “obtaining, processing and disclosing Alec Baldwin’s phone records.” He added that the records are “forthcoming,” and that once they are received, investigators will have to review them thoroughly before forwarding the case to the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, which performs coroner functions in the state, completed its report after receiving the results of the FBI analysis. The coroner’s report was submitted to the Sheriff’s office on Wednesday.
In addition to the live round that killed Hutchins, investigators have said that seven other “suspected” live rounds were also found on the set. About 500 dummy and blank rounds were also found. The rounds were submitted to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., to confirm whether they were live or not.
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