Rust: Alec Baldwin film plot, location and what happens now

Investigation into death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is ‘open and active’

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 27 October 2021 18:01
Alec Baldwin shooting: Aerial shots of film set after prop gun misfired, killing cinematographer
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Filming on the Western movie Rust has been halted after a prop gun wielded by Alec Baldwin was fired, killing the film’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also injured in the incident, and has now left hospital after receiving emergency care.

Authorities have confirmed Baldwin was in control of the gun at the time of the incident. They also confirmed that the investigation remains “open and active”, and that “no charges have been filed in regard to the incident”.

Rust began filming two weeks ago (6 October) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and had been due to continue until the end of November.

Baldwin had been cast as Old West outlaw Harland Rust, who goes on the run with his 13-year-old grandson after the latter is sentenced to death for an unintentional murder.

Travis Fimmel, Marty Lindsey, Brady Noon and Frances Fisher were cast in the film alongside Baldwin.

With the world still reeling from news of the on-set tragedy, it was not immediately clear when or if production on Rust will continue.

The film’s production company, Rust Movies Productions LLC, has released a statement responding to the tragedy, with a spokesperson saying they were “devastated”.

“We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation,” they said.

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Film fans have paid tribute to Hutchins following her death, remembering her work as a cinematographer.

At a new conference on 27 October, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said it was too early to talk about possible charges over the shooting but said they could not be ruled out.

They revealed that the bullet that killed Hutchins and wounded Souza had been removed from the injured director’s shoulder.

Mr Mendoza said the gun used in the shooting had been handled by two people in addition to Baldwin: armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls.

The sheriff said it was too early to say whether criminal charges are warranted. Asked about the possibility Baldwin will face charges, Mr Mendoza said: “No one has been ruled out” and noted: “He was the person who fired the weapon.”

Ms Carmack-Altwies then spoke to confirm that her office is ready to bring charges if the investigation finds sufficient evidence to do so.

“I must emphasise that a complete and thorough investigation is critical to the DA review,” she said. “We take the corroborated facts and evidence and connect it to New Mexico law, and we are not at that juncture yet.”

“If the facts in evidence and law support charges, then I will initiate prosecution at that time. I’m a prosecutor that was elected in part because I do not make rash decisions and I do not rush to judgment,” she added.

With additional reporting by Megan Sheets

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