Investigation Into Alec Baldwin 'Rust' Shooting Nearing End—Police

The police investigation into Alec Baldwin's fatal shooting of a crew member on the set of his movie Rust is nearing its conclusion, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office has announced.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the New Mexico set of Rust on October 21, 2021, when a prop gun that star and producer Baldwin was holding during rehearsals discharged. Writer-director Joel Souza was injured in the incident. Baldwin has maintained that he did not pull the trigger.

Investigators probing the case say that one of the final components required is Baldwin's phone records, which the Suffolk County Police Department is assisting New Mexico authorities with obtaining, according to the sheriff's office.

"The district attorney's office has been working with Suffolk County PD, and Baldwin's lawyer to acquire the phone records," said Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, per NPR.

Alec Baldwin "Rust" shooting investigation nears end
Alec Baldwin is pictured left on December 09, 2021, in New York City. Halyna Hutchins is pictured inset on January 19, 2018, in Park City, Utah. The police investigation into Baldwin's fatal shooting of cinematographer Hutchins is nearing its end, it has been announced. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images;/Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks

"Once Suffolk County PD completes its agency assist and sends those records to New Mexico law enforcement, our detectives will need to then thoroughly review those phone records for evidentiary purposes," Mendoza said.

Per the Santa Fe sheriff's office, among the remaining information left to be further investigated is a report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), which used forensic reports from the FBI to complete its probe.

"Once Sheriff's detectives complete their review of the OMI reports, and once the phone records are received and reviewed by detectives, the final Sheriff's Office investigative case file will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review and final charging decisions," said the Santa Fe sheriff's office.

Newsweek has reached out to a representative of Baldwin for comment.

In the months since the shooting, Hutchins' family has sued Baldwin and the film's producers.

Earlier this year, New Mexico's Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) issued a "Willful-Serious" citation to Rust Movie Productions, LLC, resulting in a $136,793 civil penalty.

Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas, said that the safety investigation exonerated Baldwin, sharing in a statement: "We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter.

"We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds and that his authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting."

Scene of the "Rust" shooting
The entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch where the film "Rust" was filming, on October 29, 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

According to the OHSB report, which was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Baldwin's authority on the set only included actor selection and oversight of script edits.

"Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau's findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico authorities have clarified these critical issues," Nikas continued. "We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy."

The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is both a plaintiff and a defendant in lawsuits seeking damages in the fatal shooting. Reed was assigned to oversee weapons and training as well as lighter duties as a props assistant, according to the Associated Press.

Reed's lawyer also claims that the safety report declares Reed not at fault because she didn't have the proper time to fulfill her duties.

"After OSHA's very comprehensive safety investigation involving numerous interviews and review of documents, it has concluded that production willfully failed to follow national gun safety standards, which caused this tragedy," Reed's lawyer, Jason Bowles, told Deadline. "OSHA found that Hannah Gutierrez Reed was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns."

The script supervisor who called 911 after the fatal movie-set shooting in October is suing Baldwin, saying he should be held accountable.

Mamie Mitchell's attorney, Gloria Allred, released a statement saying that since Baldwin was a producer for the movie, he's part of Rust management and thereby responsible. Allred claimed "there is nothing in the OSHA report that exonerates" Baldwin.

"Baldwin shot the gun that killed Ms. Hutchins," Allred told Newsweek. "Does he really think that he bears no responsibility for this tragedy? Mr. Baldwin wants to distance himself from what happened, but he can't do that, because the truth is that he is at the center of this tragedy."

New Mexico Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said: "Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety. This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe."

Footage from an interview with Baldwin in the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office shortly after the shooting was released to the public in April, showing deputies telling Baldwin that Hutchins had died.

"I do have some very unfortunate news to tell you," a deputy told him. "She didn't make it." Baldwin shouted, "No!" before putting his hand over his mouth and sitting in silence.

He sat for several moments, covering his face with his hand as the deputy asked if "There was anything we could do for you." Later in the video, Baldwin stood and said: "I want to go call my wife."