It sounds like consequences for the Rust tragedy are going to take some time to sort out.
As we’ve been reporting, lots of blame has been going around for the accidental shooting on the Rust set that led to the injury of director Joel Souza and death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. While the film industry has debated how to respond to such an uncommon disaster, law enforcement has been investigating how the incident could have occurred — and who is at fault.
We’ve been seeing reports and hearing from inside sources about updates ever since — but on Wednesday, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the case officially. Following accusations from armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers that the incident may have been deliberate, the DA stated:
“I know that some defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and have used the word ‘sabotage.’ We do not have any proof.”
She did acknowledge that there would “certainly” be “a higher level of murder charge than we would potentially be looking at with the facts that we have now” if the sabotage theory panned out. But for now that’s not on her office’s radar; she added:
“The defense attorneys, we don’t have the same information that they do. But until we have it in our hands, it doesn’t play into the decision-making process.”
All that being said, Carmack-Altwies told the outlet she did not think sabotage was at play:
“Prosecutors have to deal in facts and in evidence.”
The DA contradicted first assistant director Dave Halls’ lawyer, as well, who said that her client did not hand Alec Baldwin the gun prior to the shooting; Carmack-Altwies observed it “does seem to be the case” that Halls handed it off as so many witnesses stated. And though she declined to name the individual who loaded the gun, she confirmed with certainty that investigators do know for sure who did it.
“I think the most concerning thing is that there were so many levels of failures on that set. … We still don’t know how got on the set. And how they got there I think will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision.”
Obviously many have been quick to blame Alec Baldwin for firing the gun, but the law enforcement official shared:
“It’s probably more important to focus on what led up to the shooting. Because the moment of the shooting we know that at least Mr. Baldwin had no idea that the gun was loaded. So it’s more how did that gun get loaded? What levels of failure happened? And were those levels of failure criminal?”
Much of the crew present on the day of the shooting has already been interviewed, but Carmack-Altwies cautioned that it could be months before any decisions about criminal charges will be made. She explained:
“Everyone initially was very cooperative. But adding in attorneys adds in an extra level of complication — we don’t have laws that have been written for this kind of incident.”
Well, that’s disconcerting. She added:
“We will do our best to get justice for Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza.”
There may not be any clear-cut answers for responsibility in the Rust case, but hopefully this investigation will shed light on the matter.
Watch Carmack-Altwies’ full GMA interview (below):
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