The Santa Fe County Sheriff says “worrying” information was found in text messages during the investigation into the fatal shooting of camerawoman Halyna Hutchins.
Heriff Adan Mendoza said the possible use of live ammunition on another film set was discussed in the news a few months before production on the Rust film began.
The department recently released all files related to its ongoing investigation into the tragic incident, including video footage of Alec Baldwin practicing with a revolver and the actor’s subsequent interviews with officers.
Speaking to NBC’s Today Show, Sheriff Mendoza said, “There was complacency, disorganization and a degree of negligence on set, whether that escalates to a criminal level is up to the district attorney.
There was information about text messages that was concerning as live ammunition was discussed and may have been used on a previous film set.Sheriff Adam Mendoza
When asked how the live laps were used, he continued, “That was one of the main things we investigated, but to date no one has come forward and admitted to bringing the live laps to the film set .
“There was information about text messages which was of concern as live ammunition was discussed and may have been used on a previous film set.
“That was just a few months ago, before Rust film production began, so that’s concerning.”
Sheriff Mendoza said that at this stage of the investigation it is “too early to rule anything out,” adding, “I don’t think anyone is off the hook when it comes to criminal charges.”
The police investigation comes after a report of the incident revealed that the film’s production company “was aware that firearm safety regulations were not observed on set” and “showed simple indifference to staff safety.”
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Rust Movie Productions was fined US$136,793 (£104,810), the maximum allowable under New Mexico state law, after a six-month investigation by the state environmental agency.
Baldwin continues to fight a number of court cases arising from the incident.
Cases are brought by script director Mamie Mitchell, lighting director Serge Svetnoy, and the Hutchins family.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/santa-fe-sheriff-says-concerning-texts-found-during-rust-movie-investigation-41591692.html Santa Fe Sheriff Says He’s Regarding Texts Found During Investigation of Rust Film