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Search warrant issued for Alec Baldwin’s phone after ‘safety issues’ in prop gun shooting

Oct 27, 2021

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Update (Dec. 16, 2021): Amid an investigation into safety issues leading up to the deadly prop gun shooting on the set of the upcoming western film “Rust”, a Santa Fe, New Mexico court issued a search warrant for Alex Baldwin’s phone. Baldwin was the one holding the prop gun when it went off. Investigators requested Baldwin’s Apple iPhone in order to examine text messages, email correspondence, social network communications, browser activity and other information on the device.

“There may be evidence on the phone, due to individuals using cellular phones during and/or after the commission of crime(s),” an affidavit filed Thursday said. “”There were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production ‘Rust’ in the course of [police] interviews.”

The search warrant comes nearly two weeks after a prosecutor said some of the individuals who handled guns on set may face criminal charges. In a television earlier this month, Baldwin said he didn’t pull the trigger when it went off on set.

Original Story (Oct. 27, 2021): In an update on last week’s deadly prop gun shooting, investigators on Wednesday discussed safety issues discovered on the set of the upcoming western film “Rust”. The video above shows clips from a Wednesday news conference. According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff, these issues need to lead to larger conversations.

“I think there was some complacency on this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico,” Sheriff Adan Mendoza said. “But I’ll leave that up to the industry and the state to determine what those need to be.”

Examples of potential safety issues include the live rounds found on the set of the prop gun shooting; about 500 rounds of ammunition in total were found. Director Joel Souza, who was shot and injured, told investigators there should never be live rounds present near the scene.

“We suspect that there were other live rounds, but that’s up to the testing. But right now, we’re going to determine how those got there, why they were there because they shouldn’t have been,” Mendoza said.

Among the other updates provided in a Wednesday news conference:

  • Detectives have recovered a lead projectile they believe Alec Baldwin fired.
  • Two other guns were seized, including a single-action revolver that may have been modified and a plastic gun that was described as a revolver.
  • Authorities confirmed there was no footage of the shooting.

No charges have been filed regarding safety issues or the prop gun shooting as a whole. When asked about the possibility of Baldwin facing charges, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said “no one has been ruled out at this point”.

“We identified two other people that handled and or inspected the loaded firearm prior to Baldwin firing the weapon. These two individuals are armorer Hannah Reed Gutierrez and assistant director David Halls,” Mendoza added. “All three individuals have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements.”

Carmack-Altwies said investigators cannot say yet whether it was negligence or by whom. She called it a complex case that will require more research and analysis.

“It will take many more facts, corroborated facts, before we can get to that criminal negligence standard,” she said.

Adan Mendoza, Santa Fe County Sheriff: “It was later determined the Halyna Hutchins, the director of Senate cinematography, and Joel Souza, the director, had been shot while rehearsing a scene on the movie Rusk. During the initial investigation, it was determined that actor/producer Alec Baldwin was the person that fired the weapon. We identified two other people that handled and or inspected the loaded firearm prior to Baldwin firing the weapon. These two individuals are armorer Hannah Reed Gutierrez and assistant director David Halls. All three individuals have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements.”

Mary Carmack-Altwies, Santa Fe County District Attorney: “All options are on the table at this point,  I’m not commenting on charges, whether they will be filed or not or on whom. So the answer is we cannot answer that question yet until we complete a more thorough investigation.”

Reporter: “But there is the posibility for Alec Baldwin himself to face charges because you have not ruled them out?”

Carmack-Altwies: “No one has been ruled out at this point.”

Adan Mendoza, Santa Fe County Sheriff: “There’s also was approximately 90 people on the movie set itself. So there’s a lot of interviews that need to be done still in this in this case, and that’s going to be important. There’s a lot of facts that are that are floating around. I wouldn’t say factors, maybe facts and rumors that are floating around, and it’s our job to to figure out if they’re if they are facts or rumors.”

“We know there was one live round as far as we’re concerned on set. We’re going to determine whether we suspect that there were other live rounds. But that’s up to the testing. But right now we’re going to determine how those got there, why they were there, because they shouldn’t have been there.”

“There was a search warrant that was issued in reference to any camera footage, there was camera footage, but I can say that there was no footage of the actual incident.”

“Well, obviously, I think the industry has had a record recently of being safe. I think there was some complacency on this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico. But I’ll leave that up to to the industry and the state to determine what those need to be.”

Mary Carmack-Altwies, Santa Fe County District Attorney:

“It is a very complex case. It will require lots of legal research and analysis and review. That’s what my team is here for, and that’s that’s how we’re assisting the sheriffs at this point. That said, again, we don’t know how that’s going to play in until we get that, that complete investigation.”

“I’m not going to answer hypotheticals today, I will say there is a bridge and it will take many more facts, corroborated facts before we can get to that criminal negligence standard. And again, they’re gathering that as we speak.”


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