Mary Carmack-Altwies will ultimately decide if any criminal charges will be brought against anyone following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was shot during filming when Baldwin fired what he thought was an unloaded prop gun. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was wounded.
The prosecutor told CNN in a new interview that before the incident last week she had thought movie sets were “safer and more protected.”
“The entire situation has shocked me. I was under the assumption, probably with most other people in this country, that movie sets were much safer and more protected than I think that at least this movie was,” she told the news network.
She told CNN that she could not believe what she was being told as the fatal incident unfolded in New Mexico.
“I got a text message actually from someone at my office, and I didn’t believe it,” she said.
“I was completely astonished and then I think I got about 40 more text messages confirming that from people at my office.”
Ms Carmack-Altwies said that finding out how the gun fired by Baldwin became loaded with at least one live round was central in any decision on bringing criminal charges.
She told CNN that involuntary manslaughter charges could be considered, pending the completion of the investigation, but that they were rare in the state.
“It’s not negligence, it’s involuntary manslaughter. It is our equivalent to negligence but it is a higher standard than sort of classic negligence,” she explained.
“So that wilful disregard what we have to do when we’re trying to figure out if someone committed or did that wilful disregard, we have to go to our case law.”
She told the network that any decision on bringing any charges could take weeks, or even months.
“This is a large, complex investigation,” she added.
And she insisted that she would not be rushed into any decisions based on the high level of public and media interest in the case.
“I will not make my decision based on that pressure. The decision will be based on the law and the evidence, period.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies