Some people on the Rust film set who were handling prop guns may face criminal charges over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer.
- An investigation into the accidental shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins is ongoing
- The New Mexico district attorney says those who oversaw the prop guns could be held responsible
- Actor Alec Baldwin who was holding the gun says he never pulled the trigger
On Friday, New Mexico district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said a decision to lay charges had not been made but noted they may come when the investigation comes to an end.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in October during a rehearsal of the western film Rust, starring Alec Baldwin.
The prop gun fired while in the hands of Baldwin, killing Ms Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
In a statement released on Friday, Ms Carmack-Altwies said 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”.
Once the investigation is complete “certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust,” she added.
Ms Carmack-Altwies gave no indication when the investigation might conclude.
Her statement followed a television interview on Thursday by Baldwin, who said he did not believe he was responsible for Hutchins’s death and that he did not think he would be criminally charged.
The actor had reportedly been told by a crew member that the gun was safe.
“I feel someone is responsible for what happened, but I know it isn’t me,” Baldwin told US ABC television’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly.
“I’ve been told by people in the know … that it is highly unlikely I would be charged with anything criminally.”
Baldwin said that as an actor he was not responsible for checking the gun, or what it was loaded with.
He also said he did not pull the trigger but the revolver fired as he cocked the gun while practising a shot.
“I let go of the hammer of the gun and it goes off,” he said.
Authorities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have been focusing their attention on how live bullets found their way onto the set.
An attorney for armourer Hannah Gutierrez, who was in charge of weapons, has said she checked the gun before it was handed to Baldwin by assistant director Dave Halls, who shouted that it was “cold” or safe.