Santa Fe Sheriff Releases 551-Page “Rust” Police Report

The New Mexico District Attorney has not yet filed a criminal complaint related to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.

More than a year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on the set of “Rust,” investigators Friday released a comprehensive police report containing evidence, call logs and interviews with key members of the film, detailing everything that led up to the death has accident.

All in all, the document, released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and obtained by IndieWire, a 551-page binder, is the first time such material has been fully released. It provides details of the police response to the shooting in which actor and producer Alec Baldwin was holding the gun, which discharged while containing a live bullet, killing Hutchins and injuring Rust director Joel Souza.

The documents also provide further details on the conditions on set that led to the accident, which reported that there were other gun misfires during production. On the day of the fatal accident, October 21, 2021, six crew members had already left the set because of their concerns.

The sheriff’s office turned over the completed police report to the New Mexico District Attorney last month, although charges have yet to be filed in the case. Prosecutors in August sought $635,000 from the state to handle up to four people involved in the case, but received only half that amount.

A representative for the prosecutor’s office, Mary Carmack-Altwies, had no comment other than citing the previous statement released upon receipt of the police report, saying they “will make a thoughtful and timely decision as to whether to press charges.” No update was provided on a timeline of when to expect charges.

The Rust storyline has accelerated in recent weeks, first in the wake of Baldwin suing the film’s armorer and other crew members for negligence, but also with news of a planned documentary about Hutchins investigating the events of her death becomes. Baldwin also recently settled a civil lawsuit with Hutchins’ estate and widower, which revealed the producers still intend to complete production of Rust. It remains unclear where production on the film will resume, although it has been reported that filming will not resume in New Mexico.

Baldwin’s lawsuit, filed last week as part of a counterclaim originally filed by the film’s executive writer Mamie Mitchell, alleges that Baldwin lost work and other opportunities as a result of filming and is seeking compensation for legal damages arising out Mitchell’s surrender case.

“There is no doubt that others have suffered far more than Baldwin from the negligence of the counterclaim. Hutchins lost her life and her young child lost his mother. Producer Joel Souza was shot in the shoulder and has suffered physical and emotional pain,” Baldwin’s attorney said in a statement last week. “While by no means comparable, Baldwin is living with the immense heartache and consequent emotional, physical, and financial toll caused by the fact that the Cross-Defendants’ negligent behavior, assurances, and oversight put a loaded gun in his clasped his hand and led him, Hutchins and everyone else on set to believe that his aimed use of the weapon was safe. More than anyone else on this set, Baldwin was misconstrued as the perpetrator of this tragedy.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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