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Tipsheet

Confirmed: Alec Baldwin's On-Set Firearm Mishap Is Now a Criminal Investigation

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The more you hear about this Alec Baldwin shooting on the set of his new film Rust, you must wonder if criminal charges are coming. It was totally avoidable. There were multiple lapses in security protocols. It was a systemic failure. It seemed a host of people played a part in the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Hayla Hutchins. We have live rounds on set. We have an assistant director who gave Baldwin the prop gun, said it was “cold,” and then later admitted he didn’t properly check it. Baldwin also didn’t check it, ignoring the first rule of gun safety. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded no matter what—and never ever take someone else’s word for it. The western was being shot in New Mexico, where authorities said that all options are on the table concerning legal fallout. Now, Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said that this is being treated as a criminal investigation. He also said he wouldn’t call this an accident (via Fox News):

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A New Mexico sheriff said Thursday that the "Rust" movie set shooting involving Alec Baldwin was being treated as a criminal investigation and he would not rule out charges or suspects in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

"I’d be careful using the word ‘accident,’" said Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza during an appearance on "Fox & Friends." 

"This is obviously a tragedy and it was avoidable, so right now it’s a criminal investigation."

Mendoza added that it was too early in the investigation to determine if charges would be filed but said that the department was working closely with District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

[…]

The Santa Fe County sheriff said that all suspects had given an initial statement and confirmed that some of the primary people of focus had retained counsel. He elaborated that these "focused individuals" included armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, assistant director David Halls and Baldwin himself.

At the end of the day, Baldwin pulled the trigger. There’s an old saying too—there is no such thing as a gun accident, it’s just negligence. What we are seeing is a lot of blame being placed on the armorer of the movie, which is predictable given that the media wants to protect a top Hollywood lefty. Dana Loesch got ahead of that game. There’s plenty of blame to go around. It’s not just one person and again, Baldwin was the one who didn’t check the gun and pulled the trigger. 

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We’ll see if charges follow. 

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