More than a year after the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” investigators have made public on Friday its sweeping police report of evidence, call logs, and interviews with key members of the film detailing everything leading up to the fatal accident.
All told, the document released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and obtained by IndieWire is a 551-page binder, the first time such material has been made public in its entirety. It gives details about the police response to the shooting, in which actor and producer Alec Baldwin held the gun that discharged while containing a live bullet, killing Hutchins and injuring the “Rust” director Joel Souza.
The documents also provides further details about the conditions on set leading up to the accident, in which it was reported that there were other misfires of weapons during production. On the day of the fatal accident, October 21, 2021, six crew members had already walked off set because of their concerns.
The sheriff’s office last month turned over the completed police report to the New Mexico District Attorney, though charges have yet to be filed in the case. The DA back in August requested from the state $635,000 to process as many as four individuals involved in the case, but received only half that amount.
A representative for DA Mary Carmack-Altwies had no comment except to refer to the prior statement released when the police report was received, saying that they will “make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.” No update on a timeline for when to expect charges was provided.
The “Rust” story has accelerated in recent weeks, first as a result of Baldwin suing the film’s armorer and other crew members for negligence, but also because of a news of a documentary planned about Hutchins that will probe the events of her death. Baldwin also recently settled a civil suit with Hutchins’ estate and widower, in which it was revealed the producers still intend to finish production on “Rust.” It remains unclear where production on the film will resume, though it was reported that it will not continue filming in New Mexico.
Baldwin’s lawsuit, which came last week as part of a cross-complaint initially filed by the film’s script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, claimed that Baldwin had lost work and other opportunities as a result of the shooting and is asking for indemnification from legal damages stemming from Mitchell’s case.
“There can be no doubt that others have suffered from Cross-Defendants’ negligence far more than Baldwin has. Hutchins lost her life, and her young child lost his mother. Producer Joel Souza was shot in the shoulder and has suffered physical and emotional pain,” a statement from Baldwin’s lawyer read from last week. “Though by no means comparable, Baldwin must live with the immense grief, and the resulting emotional, physical, and financial toll, caused by the fact that Cross-Defendants’ negligent conduct, assurances, and supervision put a loaded weapon in his hand and led him, Hutchins, and everyone else on set to believe that his directed use of the weapon was safe. More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy.”