Press conference at Blick TV: Authorities inform about Baldwin tragedy

Press conference at Blick TV: Authorities inform about Baldwin tragedy
Press conference at Blick TV: Authorities inform about Baldwin tragedy
  • 1/13

    Will Alec Baldwin be charged today? The authorities of Santa Fe will be informing about the status of the investigation into the tragedy on the “Rust” film set from 6 p.m. Swiss time.

  • 2/13

    Last Thursday, cameraman Halyna Hutchins was shot and fatally injured by Alec Baldwin’s gun.

  • 12/13

    The widower and Baldwin also met and gave each other a warm hug.

  • 13/13

    The Hollywood star became hysterical after the incident. Just hours later, he looked years old.

Many questions are still open after the death of the camerawoman Halyna Hutchins († 42) while shooting a film with Hollywood star Alec Baldwin (63). Now there could be the first answers. On Wednesday (6 p.m. Swiss time, Blick TV broadcasts live), the authorities in Santa Fe in the US state of New Mexico want to publicly comment on the ongoing investigations in a press conference for the first time.

The district attorney in charge, Mary Carmack-Altwies (42), said in advance in an interview with the “New York Times” that prosecution was also possible in this case. “We haven’t ruled out anything yet,” she was quoted by the newspaper on Tuesday as saying. “At this point everything, including criminal charges, is on the table.” The focus is currently on ballistic studies to clarify what type of ammunition was used and how it got into the weapon.

Real weapon in action

The prosecutor made it clear that, according to previous knowledge, this was not just a “prop gun”, i.e. a prop weapon, which only resembles real weapons. The terminology used in some of the court documents relating to the case is misleading because it is a real pistol. “It was a real weapon,” said Carmack-Altwies. She didn’t say exactly what kind of firearm it was, but described it as an ancient weapon that went with the era in which the film is set. The western “Rust” is set in the 19th century.

In the incident while filming at a film ranch in New Mexico, 42-year-old head camerawoman Halyna Hutchins was fatally injured last Thursday. Leading actor Baldwin had fired the gun during rehearsal for a scene. According to a police report, the assistant director had told the actor when he handed over the pistol that it was a “cold weapon” without ammunition. According to his own statement, the assistant did not know that there was a cartridge in the weapon.

A prop weapon cannot be loaded with live ammunition

Director Joel Souza (48) was injured in the shoulder in the incident, but was able to leave the hospital a little later. Souza was behind the camerawoman at the time of the fatal incident. Filming for the western has been suspended.

Film weapons expert and stunt coordinator Steve Wolf told CNN that a regular prop weapon cannot be loaded with live ammunition. The cartridges did not fit, he added, and demonstrated his testimony with a prop revolver.

Investigations over months?

According to prosecutor Carmack-Altwies, the investigation could take weeks or months before a possible charge could arise. There were “large amounts” of ammunition on the set, said the prosecutor of the “New York Times”. According to the police, three revolvers, used cartridges and ammunition were found in boxes, loose and in a belt pouch during the search of the filming location.

The assistant director who handed over the gun to Baldwin was dismissed in 2019 because of a similar incident in a film, reported numerous US media. While shooting “Freedom’s Path”, a sound technician was slightly injured after a gun went off unexpectedly on the set, it was said, citing the production company of the film.

Inexperienced armorer

According to media reports, criticism was also raised against the 24-year-old weapons master, who was responsible for the proper handling of all weapons on the set. “Rust” was reportedly only the second film in which she was involved in this role.

Suspicions about lax security precautions were also supported by a report on the news site “The Wrap”, according to which some crew members allegedly used live ammunition in their spare time to shoot beer cans. The sources were not named.

Gun shots as a fun break

Accordingly, such a target shooting would have taken place in the morning, a few hours before the fatal incident on the set, said “The Wrap” journalist Sharon Waxman the broadcaster CNN. One of these weapons was later passed on to Baldwin on the set.

Film weapons expert Wolf told the broadcaster: “They did not load prop weapons, they loaded real weapons and shot them. Then they used the same real weapons on set as their prop weapons. ” In his opinion, that was the problem.

Baldwin is a co-producer

It is precisely because of these safety deficiencies on the set that Alec Baldwin could now also be prosecuted. He’s not only an actor in the film, he’s also a co-producer. As this he could be held responsible for the precautions on site. At 6 p.m. we will know more. (sda / imh)

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