During a press conference on Wednesday, authorities in New Mexico announced that there was “complacency” on the set of the “Rust” movie when actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed a cinematographer.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said a bullet was recovered from the director Joel Souza’s shoulder who was also shot during the incident.
“I think there was some complacency on this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico, but I’ll leave that up to the industry and the state as to what those need to be,” Mendoza said.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies also said during the press conference that criminal charges are on the table but it is too early to know if they will be pursued.
“If the facts and evidence and law support charges, then I will initiate prosecution at that time,” she said, adding “we are not there yet.”
The sheriff stated: “The investigation will continue and if the Sheriff’s Office determines during our investigation that a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed.”
“Otherwise, we will complete our investigation and forward the complete investigation and evidence to the District Attorney for review,” Mendoza said, noting that more interviews were coming.
The Sheriff’s office had previously said that live ammo was used for target practice on the set.
“We have recovered what we believe to be possible additional live rounds on set,” the sheriff said.
“We know that there was one live round as far as we are concerned on set,” the sheriff added. “We are going to determine whether we suspect that there were other live rounds. But that is up to the testing. But right now, we are going to determine how those got there, why they were there. because they shouldn’t have been there.”
The sheriff noted that officials recovered “500 rounds of ammunition… a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”
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