By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Officials in New Mexico plan to announce on Thursday whether they will pursue criminal charges against Alec Baldwin or others in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Western movie “Rust.”
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb will announce their decision at 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (1600 GMT), according to a statement issued on Wednesday.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded when a gun Baldwin was using during a rehearsal in October 2021 fired off a live bullet. The movie was being filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” actor, who also served as a producer on “Rust,” has denied responsibility for the shooting.
Baldwin has said he was told the gun was “cold,” an industry term meaning it is safe to use, and that he did not pull the trigger. He has sued crew members for negligence.
An FBI forensic test of the single-action revolver that Baldwin was using found it “functioned normally” and would not fire without the trigger being pulled.
New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator has ruled the shooting an accident, saying the gun did not appear to have been deliberately loaded with a live round. Authorities have been trying to determine how a real bullet made its way to the movie set.
Hutchins’ family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and other producers last year. Under the agreement, filming on the low-budget movie is set to resume this month with Hutchins’ husband serving as an executive producer.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine;Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)