Criminal charges against actor Alec Baldwin are possible in the fatal shooting incident on the movie set “Rust,” according to District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
Baldwin reportedly drew his gun and pointed it at the camera for a scene in the film and fired.
This led to the death of 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, who was directing photography for the movie.
The incident also injured 48-year-old Joel Souza who is the film’s director. Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
“Everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies confirmed to reporters.
“We haven’t ruled out anything,” said added. Mary Carmack-Altwies is the district attorney in Santa Fe County.
“I’d be careful using the word ‘accident,’” said Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza.
“This is obviously a tragedy and it was avoidable, so right now it’s a criminal investigation,” he added.
Mendoza says it’s too early in the investigation to determine if charges would be filed.
“I will confirm that we haven’t ruled anybody out in regards to charges in this case.”
“It’s still an active investigation and we’re still gathering statements and facts,” said Mendoza.
“There were an enormous amount of bullets on this set, and we need to find out what kinds they were,” Carmack-Altwies said.
“It was a legit gun,” she said. “It was an antique-era appropriate gun.”
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Carmack-Altwies said no quick resolution to the case is in sight.
“It’s probably weeks, if not months, of follow-up investigation that we’re going to need to get to the point of charging,” she said, according to the Times.
Albuquerque criminal-defense attorney Erlinda Johnson said charges of involuntary manslaughter could be lodged against anyone involved in the tragedy, according to People.
“Whoever handles the firearm has a duty to check it for any live rounds,” Johnson said.
Civil suits are guaranteed regardless of any criminal charges, said David Ring, a Los Angeles trial attorney.
Baldwin is “absolutely going to get named in any wrongful-death lawsuit. You just have to show that there was negligence that led to the shooting, and it’s a much lower standard than a criminal case,” Ring said.
“Obviously there’s negligence, and it just depends on who was negligent. But ultimately the production company is in charge. It happened on their watch.”