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Alec Baldwin Shares Story To Shift Blame From Himself In Deadly Shooting

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Actor Alec Baldwin is deflecting blame for the tragic shooting that killed a cinematographer and injured the director on the set of his movie “Rust.”

While the majority of people are concerned with the life of cinematographer Halayna Hutchins, Baldwin, in what some could see as disrespect, appears to be more concerned with his image.

On Wednesday that 63-year-old actor tweeted a story about assistant director David Halls admitting that he should have checked the rounds in the gun before giving it to Baldwin.

Halls said that armorer Hannah Gutierrez showed him the firearm before he handed it to Baldwin, declaring it to be “cold,” a search warrant affidavit released Wednesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court said.

“David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds. He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum,” the detectives said.

“I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there’s no live fire, [Hannah] opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say cold gun on set,” he said to the police.

“Hannah advised on the day of the incident, she checked the ‘dummies’ and ensured they were not ‘hot’ rounds,” the affidavit said.

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“Hannah advised she handed the gun to Alec Baldwin a couple times, and also handed it to David Halls. When [a detective] asked about live ammo on set, Hannah responded no live ammo is ever kept on set,” it said.

It is the second story he has tweeted to take the blame off himself. The first being one that stressed that the actor was informed that the gun was safe.

And he may have good reason to shift the blame as the district attorney hinted that Baldwin could face criminal charges.

Mary Carmack-Altwies, the district attorney in Santa Fe County, New Mexico said to The New York Times that criminal charges were possible.

“We haven’t ruled out anything,” she said. “Everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table.”

Right now the investigation is focused on what type of bullet is in the gun and who placed it there. There was a surprising number of bullets and firearms on the set.

Detectives said they have found three revolvers, casings and bullets as they investigated the set after obtaining a search warrant.

“There were an enormous amount of bullets on this set, and we need to find out what kinds they were,” she said.

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And the district attorney took issue with people calling it a “prop gun” as, she said, it was not.

“It was a legit gun,” she said. “It was an antique-era appropriate gun.”

“It’s probably weeks, if not months, of follow-up investigation that we’re going to need to get to the point of charging,” she said.

“We have complex cases all the time,” she said. “But this kind of complex case, with these kinds of prominent people, no.”

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Detectives from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office are proceeding carefully with the investigation, she said, citing the large number of witnesses and the need to methodically collect ballistics and forensics evidence.

The shooting occurred on Thursday on the set of a church where Mr. Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for “Rust,” a Western where he plays an outlaw. According to affidavits included in applications for search warrants, Dave Halls, an assistant director on the set, had gone outside the church and taken the gun off a cart, where it had been placed by the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Mr. Halls handed the gun to Mr. Baldwin, who was rehearsing inside the church, according to the affidavit, and said it was a “cold gun,” indicating that it contained no live rounds and was safe for Mr. Baldwin to handle.

Mr. Baldwin then rehearsed a scene that involved “cross drawing” a revolver and pointing it toward the camera lens, according to the affidavit, when the gun fired — striking Ms. Hutchins in the chest and killing her, and hitting the director of the film, Joel Souza, in the shoulder, wounding him.

The charges against Baldwin, who is the executive producer on the movie, could be serious and could include negligent manslaughter, legal experts said to The New York Post.

“As an executive producer, you are in a position of control and you can get prosecuted criminally,” Joseph Costa, an attorney with Costa Law in Los Angeles, said. “It’s the equivalent of drinking and driving, meaning someone may not have intended to cause great harm but they do.”

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