“Crime Stories” host Nancy Grace said it is possible Alex Baldwin will face criminal charges in New Mexico for last Thursday’s shooting that killed a cinematographer and left a director wounded.
Grace told “Entertainment Tonight” that this is a “complex case” that has required investigators to interview multiple witnesses on the set of “Rust,” in addition to reviewing ballistics, ammunition, blanks, and prop guns.
Reports indicated that assistant director David Hall handed Baldwin, 63, a Colt 45 revolver and yelled “cold gun,” suggesting it was not loaded. The actor was reportedly showing how he was going to pull the gun from the holster when the weapon fired in a mock church pew at Bonanza Creek Ranch — fatally shooting Halyna Hutchins, 42, in the chest and wounding Joel Souza, 48, in his shoulder.
Grace said it is no mystery who fired the gun, but detectives are likely investigating who loaded the gun, who gave Baldwin the gun, and why the gun was said to be cold when it was loaded with live rounds.
“[Baldwin] obviously did not intend to shoot a live round or to kill her. I think the most he can be charged with is a negligent homicide — and yes, that is a possibility because he did not check the gun before he fired,” Grace told “Entertainment Tonight.”
However, she noted that a jury would likely be tasked with determining whether Baldwin was expected to check the weapon on his own, or does that responsibility also fall on the assistant director who handed him the gun.
A day after the shooting, prop master union IATSE Local 44 said in an email that props, set decorations, construction, and special effects were not staffed by their union members. The union also alleged that the prop weapon that accidentally fired contained “a live single round.”
“There were no Local 44 embers on the call sheet,” the union told its members.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Souza told Santa Fe police that multiple people handled the gun involved in the deadly shooting, but he was unsure whether it was checked for safety after they returned from lunch.
On the day of the shooting, six camera crew members reportedly walked off the set due to issues with housing and payment. A witness said the six crew members were threatened with security if they did not leave and they were replaced with three non-union members.
Reports indicated crew members used the gun on the day of the shooting for target practice — and had used live rounds to shoot at beer cans to pass time on set.
No charges have been filed in connection with last week’s incident.
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[Featured image: Alex Baldwin/AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File; Halyna Hutchins/Instagram]