Potential for criminal charges “hasn’t been ruled out” following fatal ‘Rust’ shooting; set gaffer slams “negligence”


While no criminal charges have been filed in the October 21 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust, authorities say charges can’t yet be “ruled out.”

That’s the word to The New York Post from Juan Rios, the public information officer for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office.  “[H]onestly if people have information, they need to bring it to us…so we can check into that,” Rios said.

Given the number of witnesses, Rios added that the investigation into the incident last Thursday, during which Baldwin fired a live round toward the camera, fatally striking Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, will be “going on for a while.”

“We need to be diligent…should there be charges ultimately filed that they are able to uphold those in court,” said Rios.

Baldwin and assistant director Dave Halls reportedly told investigators they didn’t know the revolver Baldwin fired contained a live round.

Meanwhile, the film’s gaffer, or set electrician, Serge Sventoytook to Instagram to post what he said was among the last photos of Hutchins alive — inside the church where the crew was setting up the scene prior to the fatal shot.  Sventoy said he was standing “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Hutchins when the shot rang out.

“I was holding in her my arms when she was dying,” he said, adding that the accident was “the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.”

“The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon…did not do this,” said Svetnoy.  “The person who had to announce the loaded weapon was on the site did not do this.”

Hannah Gutierrez Reed was the armorer on the Rust set.  Dave Halls is said to have announced that the gun apparently containing a live round was “cold,” meaning safe, before handing it to Baldwin.

“And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!” Svetnoy said.

Meanwhile, ABC News has learned that Rust producers have hired their own legal team to conduct a separate investigation into the events and circumstances leading up to the fatal shooting. The film’s cast and crew were notified of the news Tuesday night in a note that declares, in part, “We know that reliving this tragedy will be hard, but your participation is important for all of us to be able to fully understand what happened, and we encourage you to share your perspective.”

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