Official says it's 'too early' to press charges over Halyna Hutchins death

New Mexico authorities have given their first public update about the investigation into Alec Baldwin’s shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The 63-year-old actor discharged a gun on the set of the Rust movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 21, accidentally killing Hutchins, 42, and injuring the film’s director Joel Souza. 

Wednesday saw Santa Fe County district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and Santa Fe County sheriff Adan Mendoza discuss the incident in a press conference that took place nearly one week after the fatal shooting.

Mendoza explained that it is still too early to press charges regarding the case, and stressed that the authorities are working hard to determine what happened.

He confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and charges may be filed at a later date, if probable cause is found and told reporters that ‘no-one has been ruled out’ so far.

The authorities believe they have in their possession the firearm that was fired by Alec Baldwin, as well as the spent shell casing from the bullet that was fired from the gun.

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Approximately 500 rounds of ammunition, including blanks, have been collected, as well as three firearms in total, Mendoza revealed.

The evidence will be sent to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.

So far, various affidavits and two search warrants have been issued and executed amid the investigation, which has shed light on the circumstances around the incident.

Baldwin, who was unaware there was a live round in the gun, has not been arrested or charged over the incident but was questioned by police along with many others.

The prop gun had been handed to Baldwin by assistant director David Halls – who was previously fired from another movie over a firearm incident – who took the revolver from a tray set up by armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

Following the shooting, Hutchins was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead, while director Souza was released from hospital hours later, and is recovering from his injuries.

Production on Rust has been halted amid the police investigation into Hutchins’ death.

The cinematographer’s accidental killing has shocked and saddened Hollywood, which is now under pressure to revise rules surrounding the use of guns on movie and television sets. 

Following the tragedy, filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi started a petition calling for real firearms to be banned from productions on Friday, with the Change.org page surpassing 60,000 signatures at the time of writing.

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