Additional live rounds found on 'Rust' set, Santa Fe DA says

Additional live rounds were found on the “Rust” film set where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer, the Santa Fe District Attorney said. 

Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will decide whether to press charges in the tragedy, told ABC's “Good Morning America” Wednesday there were “many levels of failures” on the movie set.

Halyna Hutchins, the film’s director of photography, 42, was fatally shot and director Joel Souza, 48, was injured on Oct. 21 at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico when Baldwin, 63, discharged a prop firearm loaded with a live round. 

Carmack-Altwies acknowledged there were more live rounds found on set, but did not release any details on how many. She deemed it “concerning” that live rounds were found at all. 

“We still don’t know how they got on the set. And how they got there, I think, will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision,” she said. “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?”

In the days following the incident, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office recovered the “lead projectile” in the shooting as well as 500 other rounds, saying the set included blanks, dummy rounds and what investigators suspect are “live rounds.”

Carmack-Altwies said her office doesn’t yet have an answer as to how live ammunition ended up on set, but refuted any theories of sabotage.

“I know that some defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and used the word sabotage. We do not have proof,” she said. When asked if sabotage is a possibility in the case, she responded, “No.”

Her statement comes a week after an attorney for the armorer on the movie set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, said he believes someone may have been trying to sabotage the set by putting a live round in a box of dummy ammunition. 

“How did a live round get on set, and who put that live round on the set?” Jason Bowles asked on NBC’s “TODAY” show last week.

Authorities are looking at Gutierrez-Reed's qualifications for the job as part of their investigation, according to Carmack-Altwies.

She said her office knows who loaded the gun before the shooting, but declined to name the person. 

If sabotage is found to be the case, the district attorney's office would consider “certainly a higher level of murder charge than we would potentially be looking at with the facts we have now,” she said. 

She said her office is prepared to press criminal charges, "if the circumstances warrant it." 

"We will do our best to get justice for Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza," Carmack-Altwies said.

After the shooting incident, Baldwin released a statement saying he's cooperating with the police investigation and is in contact with Hutchins' family.

"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," the actor wrote.

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