‘Nobody’s been cleared yet’: Sheriff provides update on fatal movie set shooting

Speculation has swirled around the tragic events on a movie set in New Mexico that left one person dead and another wounded.

During an interview this week, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza indicated that no one involved in an apparently accidental shooting has “been cleared” of possible criminal charges.

“The focus of the investigation”

Actor Alec Baldwin reportedly fired the shot that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza earlier this month.

Mendoza noted that two other individuals — assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin, and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was responsible for weapon safety protocols on the set — are also under scrutiny by investigators.

The sheriff further noted that there are nagging questions surrounding why live ammunition on the movie set.

“I think during the interviews, the focus of the investigation is how the live rounds got there, who brought them there, and why they were there,” Mendoza explained.

“There should be no live rounds on set”

At this point, he said it is too early to determine whether any actions leading up to the fatal incident will rise to the level of criminal negligence, adding that law enforcement officers are “hoping to work with the district attorney in reference to that so it’s a clear determination if charges should be filed.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, the sheriff revealed that a bullet was recovered from Souza’s shoulder. That round was reportedly the same one that struck Hutchins after Baldwin apparently fired what he believed was an unloaded firearm.

Mendoza further revealed that a search of the movie set turned up three guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Although most of those rounds were blanks or so-called dummy rounds, others appeared to be live.

“The information that we’ve got in the industry is that there should be no live rounds on set,” he said. “So, again, we’re going to try to determine why they were there and who brought them there.”

Mendoza confirmed that he was aware of allegations that crew members had been shooting live rounds at various targets in the area earlier in the day. He ended the brief interview by asking anyone with additional information to contact authorities.

Latest News