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District attorney says it's too early for charges in 'Rust' shooting

NOEL KING, HOST:

An investigation is underway after Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged a gun on the set of a movie last week, killing one person and wounding another. Here's NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On the set of "Rust," detectives found three guns in all, including a revolver and a plastic nonfunctioning gun. The Santa Fe sheriff told reporters he believes there was a live round in the third gun found, a Colt .45 revolver Alec Baldwin used. It seems a single lead bullet hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest and director Joel Souza in the shoulder. A crime lab is now analyzing that bullet and its shell casing. Sheriff Adan Mendoza says they also seized 500 rounds of ammunition on set, a combination of blanks, dummy rounds and what appeared to be more live rounds.

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ADAN MENDOZA: This investigation is active, so I won't comment on how they got there. But we know - we suspect that they are there.

DEL BARCO: Mendoza said evidence is being sent to an FBI crime lab in Quantico, Va. Investigators are interviewing nearly 100 people who were on the film set that day.

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MENDOZA: 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.

DEL BARCO: Mendoza said there were three people who handled or inspected the gun that day - Alec Baldwin, the armorer and the assistant director. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, told detectives that that day, she checked to make sure there were not any hot rounds in the guns on set. Before a lunch break, she put them inside a locked safe on a prop truck, and she left some of the ammunition on a cart on set. Assistant director Dave Halls told investigators that after the lunch break, he should have checked all the rounds in the gun that he handed to Baldwin, but he didn't. It's too soon to say whether anyone will be arrested or criminally charged for this case. Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said it's complex.

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MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES: I'm not commenting on charges, whether they will be filed or not. No one has been ruled out at this point.

DEL BARCO: That includes Alec Baldwin, as actor and producer on the film.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, Los Angeles.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BURNING PARIS' "THE SUN ALSO RISES") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.