Alec Baldwin's gun was not thoroughly inspected

Alec Baldwin's gun was not thoroughly inspected

The .45 caliber Colt gun used to shoot the film "Rust" was not thoroughly inspected before being given to actor Alec Baldwin, who accidentally fired live ammunition last week in New Mexico and killed a cinematographer, according to law enforcement and court documents.

Ummatimes - New details about the incident emerged Wednesday during a press conference by Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and County Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, and in affidavits filed by the sheriff's department.

Mendoza said negligence on set safety before Thursday's shooting killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during rehearsal.

Hannah Gutierrez, the crew member in charge of guns on the set, told investigators she had checked weapons there but found no live ammunition prior to the shooting, according to an affidavit, Reuters reported, October 28, 2021.

Dave Halls, the film's assistant director, told investigators he "should have checked all" of the bullets in the gun before handing it over to Alec Baldwin but did not, according to the affidavit. Authorities said earlier Alec Baldwin was given a gun he said was a "cold weapon" by Halls, who took it from the train used by Gutierrez.

Mendoza and Carmack-Altwies said while no criminal charges were filed, they did not rule out the possibility.

"All options are on the table. ...Nothing is ruled out at this point," Carmack-Altwies said of the possible charges.

Gutierrez, whose job is officially called film crew gunsmith, said ammunition was not secured on the set during his lunch break before the shooting, according to a written statement. He said that the firearms were secured in a safe kept in the white truck during the break and that no real ammunition was ever stored on the set.

"Only a few people had access to the safe and knew the combination to open it," Gutierrez said, according to a written statement.

A judge approved investigators' request to search the truck on Wednesday.

Authorities have collected 600 pieces of evidence including three firearms, 500 rounds of ammunition, some believed to be live ammunition, and several pieces of clothing and accessories in the ongoing investigation, Mendoza said. Some of the evidence is being sent to the FBI crime lab for analysis.

Authorities confiscated the firearm used in the shooting and recovered a bullet from the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who was injured but later discharged from hospital, Mendoza said. It seems the same bullet hit Souza and Hutchins, Mendoza explained.

Mendoza said the gun used by Alec Baldwin was an Italian Pietta Long Colt revolver.

"We will consider it a live bullet because it fired a gun and obviously caused the death of Mrs Hutchins and wounding of Mr Souza," Mendoza said.

Baldwin, 63, stars as co-producer of "Rust," a Western film set in 1880s Kansas. Production at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe, has been discontinued.

Mendoza said Alec Baldwin, Halls and Gutierrez were all cooperating in the investigation.

The shooting shocked Hollywood, sparked debate about safety protocols in film and television, including whether certain types of weapons used as props should be banned, and also highlighted working conditions on low-budget productions.

Prior to the incident, the camera operator withdrew from the filming location to protest the working conditions.

Alec Baldwin was training to pull a revolver from his body and point it at the camera during practice when the gun was fired, according to court documents.