Alec Baldwin Could Be Charged With 'Negligent Homicide' for 'Rust' Shooting—Nancy Grace

Legal commentator Nancy Grace has stated that Alec Baldwin could face a "negligent homicide" charge stemming from the fatal shooting on the set of his movie, Rust.

The Hollywood actor discharged a gun on the New Mexico set of the western film last Thursday, leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of writer-director Joel Souza.

And as Baldwin—who also serves as a producer on the movie—continues to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation, Grace weighed in on the matter.

"Alec Baldwin obviously did not intend to shoot a live round or to kill her," Grace told Entertainment Tonight. "I think the most he can be charged with is a negligent homicide—and yes, that is a possibility because he did not check the gun before he fired.

"But a jury would be asked should he [have checked], or should he rely on the assistant director that hands him the gun, who should also be checking for safety."

A pressing issue in the investigation is the question of why there was live ammunition on the set of a film, something Grace has said is "unheard of."

"That is why there are so many layers of precaution for movies of this genre—a western with a lot of guns, a lot of ammo and shoot-outs," the TV personality said. "You have to be careful."

"To the naked eye, a live round, a bullet, is easily discernible from a blank. There really is no mistaking a live round, a bullet, from a blank," Grace shared. "So who put a live round in a gun used for a scene? There will be a lot of questions as to how this happened."

According to a search warrant affidavit from the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office, Rust assistant director Dave Halls handed Baldwin the gun on the set after picking up the weapon from a rolling cart prepared by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

Per the search warrant, Halls then shouted "cold gun," to indicate that the weapon was not loaded and safe to handle on the set. Baldwin and Halls were apparently unaware that there were any live rounds in the gun.

"The Sante Fe County District Attorney has indicated that this is a very complex case," the America's Most Wanted Overtime host Grace said. "The complexity of this case revolves around the ballistics, the number of ballistics, ammunition, rounds, blanks, prop guns, legit real operational guns lying around on the set, compounded with so many witnesses."

Alec Baldwin and Nancy Grace
Nancy Grace (R) has stated that Alec Baldwin (L) could face "negligent homicide" charges, stemming from the fatal shooting on the set of his movie, "Rust," on October 21. Jim Spellman/Getty Images;/Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"Every crew member, sound person, cinematographer, the caterer, you name it are going to be witnesses in this case," Grace went on. "Whether they were inside the church set or outside of it and may have heard the gunshot."

"This is not a whodunit. We know whodunit—Alec Baldwin. But was it his fault?" Grace added. "I believe the investigation is going to focus on who handed him the weapon, who put the ammo, the bullet in the gun, and why did Halls reportedly call out 'cold gun' on the set, which means it's safe?"

Per The Guardian, a new court filing states that Halls admitted to investigators that he "should have checked all" the rounds in the gun, but failed to, before handing it to Baldwin.

On Wednesday, it was stated that the gun Baldwin used at the time of the fatal shooting was a .45-caliber Colt, which law enforcement has described as a "legit" antique gun, as opposed to a prop gun, as had been widely reported.

Santa Fe's County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies held a press conference on Wednesday, during which the gun believed to have been used on the set was revealed to reporters.

"We believe that we have, in our possession, the firearm that was fired by Mr. Baldwin," said Mendoza. "This is the firearm we believe discharged the bullet."

"I think the industry has had a record recently of being safe," Mendoza added. "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."

"All options are on the table," Carmack-Altwies said of any potential charges arising from the investigation. "No one has been ruled out at this point."

In her interview with Entertainment Tonight, Grace predicted that there will be "multiple lawsuits, probably against Alec Baldwin, and many others."

High-profile attorney Gloria Allred is representing script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who called 911 after the fatal shooting.

"She was standing very close to Halyna," Allred told Entertainment Tonight of her client. "Safety protocols were clearly not followed. Clearly at the minimum, gross civil negligence."

Noted Grace: "Gloria Allred is on the case—you can bet your bottom dollar there's gonna be a lawsuit."

Production on Rust has been halted until the police investigation has concluded.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah. Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of the movie "Rust" on October 21. Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie