LIVE ROUND: Sheriff Confirms Real Bullet Killed Rust Cinematographer


At a press conference Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that the projectile that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust film set was indeed a live round, and other live rounds were recovered as evidence from the set.

Hutchins was killed, and director Joel Souza injured, last Thursday during a rehearsal when Alec Baldwin fired a gun he had been told was a “cold gun” by assistant director Dave Halls.

Mendoza offered his condolences to Hutchins’ family and wishes for a speedy recovery to Souza, and then reported that Halls and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed were the two people who had handled and/or inspected the gun prior to Baldwin firing it. The sheriff described Baldwin, Halls, and Gutierrez as all being “cooperative in the investigation” and said they had provided statements.

Among the 600 pieces of evidence collected from the film set were three firearms, approximately 500 rounds of ammunition, and several pieces of clothing, said Mendoza, noting that the ammunition included “possible additional live rounds.”

“We believe that we have in our possession the firearm that was fired by Mr. Baldwin, [that] we believe discharged the bullet. We also believe that we have the spent shell casing from the bullet that was fired from the gun.”

Medical personnel had recovered the “actual lead projectile that was fired” from Souza’s shoulder while he was being treated, Mendoza continued, and had been turned over to the sheriff’s office as evidence. The bullet had been widely assumed to have been a live round, and Mendoza’s comments officially confirmed it as such.

All the evidence would be submitted to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, VA for analysis. Mendoza said that it was “too early right now in the investigation” to comment on possible charges, and pledged that the sheriff’s office was “conducting a thorough and objective investigation.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: