Much of social media is still speculating as to the fate of Alec Baldwin following his involvement in the Oct. 21 shooting on the movie set of “Rust” that left director Joel Souza wounded and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead.
Baldwin reportedly fired a .45-caliber Colt revolver loaded with a “live round,” containing a lead projectile, that hit both victims.
On Thursday, Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed to Fox News that criminal charges are still on the table for those who are the main focus of the investigation, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, assistant director David Halls, and Baldwin himself.
All three allegedly handled the pistol just before the shooting, with Baldwin being the one who pulled the trigger.
“I’d be careful using the word ‘accident,’” Sheriff Mendoza said during his appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“This is obviously a tragedy and it was avoidable, so right now it’s a criminal investigation.
“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,” Mendoza explained.
Since the investigation is ongoing, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus from legal experts as to what will happen to Baldwin in terms of criminal liability.
A child left in a hot car, an intentive babysitter that leaves the door open, a delayed call to 911 following an overdose are all potential examples of negligent homicide.
Indeed, local district attorneyMary Carmack-Altwies iterated the point that it was too early to make the call on criminal charges.
“We can’t say it was negligence by whom, how many people were involved,” Carmack-Altwies said. “It is a very complex case… If the facts and the evidence and law support charges, then I will initiate prosecution at that time. I am a prosecutor that was elected in part because I do not make rash decisions and I do not rush to judgment.”
But everyone seems to agree that Baldwin and his fellow producers (Alec is listed as a producer in addition to being the movie’s principal actor) will face civil lawsuits.
“There was clearly negligence on the set,” Adam Winkler, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and a gun policy expert, told KTLA. “The producers had a duty to preserve the safety of the crew. There were obvious hazards on the set.”
Investigators seized 500 rounds from the scene, including blanks, dummy rounds and traditional ammo. As to how traditional ammo ended up on set, well, that’s one of the main questions Sheriff Mendoza wants answered.
“We’re going to determine how those got there, why they were there, because they shouldn’t have been there,” Mendoza said.
In time, hopefully the entire truth of what happened that day is revealed and the responsible parties are held accountable.
Speaking of those responsible, what do you think should happen to Alec Baldwin? Should he be charged with negligent homicide? Based on the available facts, do you believe he should be convicted?
Update 10/29/21: ArmorerHannah Gutierrez Reed releases a statement via her attorneys, saying in part, “Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that.”
Statement from Hannah Gutierrez Reid- Armorer on the Rust set. pic.twitter.com/S0CH5mVQgG— yasminvossoughian (@yasminv) October 29, 2021