OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Actor Alec Baldwin has declared that he does not believe any charges will be coming for him in the shooting death of a cinematographer on the set of his movie “Rust” but the district attorney does not necessarily agree.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” the actor said to ABC News host George Stephanopoulos said. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
“I don’t know what happened on that set. I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don’t know,” he said. “But I’m all for doing anything that will take us to a place where this is less likely to happen again.”
He said he placed his faith in the professionals he had working on the set, as he shoved them under the bus.
“In terms of the handling of the gun, that day I did exactly what I’ve done every day on that movie,” the 63-year-old said. “The actor’s responsibility is to do what the prop armorer tells them to do.”
“When that person who was charged with that job handed me the weapon, I trusted them” he said. “And I never had a problem, ever.”
But then he made the statement that has ruffled the feathers of some in law enforcement who are working on the case.
“I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” he said.
First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appeared to respond directly to Baldwin’s interview on Friday when she said to Deadline, “certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust.”
She said that she plans to “exercise my prosecutorial discretion to its fullest, including filing charges that are supported by probable cause,” Carmack-Altwies also said today that her office is “exploring various legal theories at the time.”
“Everyone involved in the handling and use of firearms on the set had a duty to behave in a manner such that the safety of others was protected, and it appears that certain actions and inactions contributed to this outcome,” she said.
“As the First Judicial District Attorney, I have not made a decision to charge or not charge any individuals involved in the shooting that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins and injury of Joel Souza,” she said.
The remarks by Carmack-Altwies were not altogether unexpected as Deadline has heard from a number of New Mexico sources that Santa Fe law enforcement were very unhappy with Baldwin once again speaking to media.
“Interviewed immediately after the shooting and subsequently by the Sheriff’s Office, the Emmy winner has been asked to not comment on the shooting beyond condolences as the police’s investigation continues – requests Baldwin has acknowledged, but is clearly ignoring as he lays out his version of what went down that terrible day.
One source told us the department felt “betrayed after all the consideration given to Baldwin in the aftermath of the shooting.” Another law enforcement source said that “Baldwin is testing the department’s patience and becoming a distraction to the ongoing investigation…
No end date has been given for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office’s investigation, but it could be several more weeks before it is wrapped up, I hear.
Though four separate search warrants have been issued for Santa Fe detectives and there’s lots of finger pointing and theories about where the live round that killed Hutchins came from, no one has been arrested, let alone charged yet in the matter.