Authorities recover bullet allegedly fired by Alec Baldwin from director’s shoulder

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Authorities in New Mexico said they recovered a bullet that was allegedly fired from the gun Alec Baldwin had on the set of “Rust” last week. The announcement comes six days after the actor fired a weapon thought to be safe while rehearsing a scene last Thursday on the set of the western “Rust”, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said a lead projectile, which police considered to be a bullet, was recovered from Souza’s shoulder. He said investigators had collected around 600 pieces of evidence, including what investigators believe to be the weapon Baldwin fired, as well as “possible additional live ammunition on the set.” All recovered items will be sent to the FBI for analysis, Mendoza said.

Mendoza said he recovered around 500 rounds of the set, which are a mixture of blank bullets, dummy bullets and “what we suspect, live bullets”. He said there were three guns recovered from the set: the gun that was allegedly fired by Baldwin, a revolver that appears to have some kind of barrel modification, and a plastic revolver that doesn’t work.

“I think there was some complacency about this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by industry and maybe the state of New Mexico, but I will leave that to the industry and the state as what these need to be, “Mendoza said. While there are camera footage of the scene, Mendoza said there was no footage of the actual shooting.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said it was still too early to press charges against the shooting.

Deputy director Dave Halls handed the gun to Baldwin, who stars in the film and is one of its producers, investigators said in court documents filed last week. According to the documents, Halls shouted “cold pistol”, indicating that there were no live ammunition. Investigators said Halls was unaware there were live ammunition in the gun when he gave it to Baldwin.

Souza told investigators he was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder as Baldwin rehearsed a scene in which he pointed the gun at the camera, according to the documents. Souza said he heard what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop before Hutchins grabbed his midsection and Souza bleed from his shoulder.

It is not known what type of cartridge was in the weapon when it was fired. In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, the district attorney said the weapon, which investigators described as a propeller pistol, was “a weapon appropriate in ancient times.”

Baldwin issued a statement about the shooting on Friday, calling it a “tragic accident”.

“My heart is broken for her husband, their son and everyone who knew and loved Halyna,” he said.


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