The investigation, as the authorities have recalled in the announcement of the press conference, “remains active and open.” Everything, including the possibility of criminal charges, “is on the table”, as announced Tuesday in an interview with ‘The New York Times’ by the Santa Fe district attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, although she also stated that “To get to the point of filing charges will take weeks, if not months, of investigation”.
The spokesman for the county sheriff’s office, Juan Ríos, also explained in statements to ‘The New York Post’ that detectives are following a slow and methodical process that “is expected to last a while” due to the number of witnesses there are. to interrogate. “We need to be diligent to ensure the integrity of the investigation so that if charges are eventually filed they hold up in court,” he said.
While the investigation continues and until more details are given in the press conference, these are some keys to the tragedy that await an answer.
1. How many shots were there?
It has not been said yet. According to an information published a few days ago by the ‘Los Angeles Times’ citing sources from the filming team, it could have been a single shot that went through Hutchins after hitting him in the stomach and then hitting Souza in the shoulder.
The director, according to a police document, said when giving his version of events that he heard “what sounded like a whip and then a loud bang.”
2. What type of ammunition was fired?
Neither has it been said yet. At the filming location, the police have recovered “an enormous amount of bullets”, in the words of the prosecutor Carmack-Altwies to the ‘Times’, and they still need to “find out what type they were”.
An inventory of material that the police took in a search of the set ensures that they have found at least nine cartridges and ammunition, both packaged in boxes and loose in trays and located in a fanny pack. What the judicial document does not specify whether it is real bullets, blank bullets or the so-called ‘dummies’, They are used for training purposes, but the sheriff could give the details Wednesday.
3. What weapon was used?
Although the revolver that was given to Baldwin, one of the three weapons that authorities have taken from the ranch, has often been defined as a “prop weapon” by both court documents and press articles, the prosecutor has denied that that terminology is used because it can be misleading. “It was a legitimate weapon”, he has told the ‘Times’, “an old revolver, appropriate to the time” in which the action of the film takes place, located in Kansas in the late 19th century.
On filming in the United States, the use of real weapons is common, something that is now being questioned with intensity, especially when most of the effects can be created in post-production. Many voices are being raised demanding that its use be banned and more than 60,000 people have already signed a petition on Change.org. In California, a senator has announced that he will present a legislative initiative to veto live ammunition and weapons capable of firing it from film and television shootings in the state.
4. How did the ammunition get to the gun?
It is for now another unanswered question. Various information with anonymous sources of the filming have ensured that workers in the film used the guns for playful target practice on breaks from filming. The prosecutor has told the ‘Times’ that they are “unconfirmed” information.
Ríos, for his part, has suggested in his statements to the ‘Post’ that whoever has information should go to the police and not to the media. “They must bring it to us so that we can investigate and verify it. If they have valid information, we want it, but the only way to verify it is if they tell us ”, he declared.
5. Why did the assistant director give the gun to Baldwin?
It is another key question in the tragedy. The three weapons that the police have taken had been prepared, according to official documentation, by Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the gunman of the film, a 24-year-old girl for whom ‘Rust’ was her second feature film. Although usually the gunsmiths in the filming are in charge of the handling and delivery of the weapons to the actors after checking them, she left them in a cart outside the church and it was the assistant director, Dave Halls, who handed hers to Baldwin and he said “cold gun”, the expression used to indicate an unloaded weapon and that told the actor that it was safe to use.
6. Why was Baldwin pointing directly at the camera?
The actor, who is also a producer on the film, was rehearsing a scene inside the church. Hutchins and Souza, along with the camera operator, were repositioning the camera after they had seen a shadow at another point. As they prepared the plan, according to the director, Baldwin was showing them how he was going to draw the revolver while pointing it at the camera. Then the shot occurred.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.