In an appearance on NBC’S Today show, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said that one of the principal lines of inquiry was how and why the live rounds came to be on the set.
It is believed that the production of the upcoming movie Rust did not require the use of real ammunition.
“I think during the interviews, the focus of the investigation is how the live rounds got there, who brought them there and why they were there,” said Sheriff Mendoza.
“As far as if it’s going to rise to the point of negligence or the point of criminal charges, we’re hoping to work with the district attorney in reference to that so it’s a clear determination if charges should be filed,” he added.
A live round of ammunition fired by Baldwin killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and passed through her, then becoming embedded in the shoulder of director Joel Souza from where it was recovered.
Baldwin was handed the Pietta Long Colt revolver and was told it was safe to use before he squeezed the trigger, the sheriff said on Wednesday.
On set armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed said that there was no live ammunition kept on set, but in addition to the bullet removed from Mr Souza’s shoulder, investigators found 500 rounds present — a mix of blanks, dummies, and reportedly more live rounds.
Sheriff Mendoza said: “The information that we’ve got in the industry is that there should be no live rounds on set.”
He added: “So, again, we’re going to try to determine why they were there and who brought them there.”
The investigation is looking at Baldwin for firing the gun, Ms Gutierrez Reed who bore responsibility for the weapons, and assistant director Dave Halls, who said that he did not check all of the rounds were dummies — though no live rounds were supposed to be present.
One theory is that the guns would also be used for target practice by the cast or crew, though there is no confirmation of those reports as yet.
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