Sheriff says Alec Baldwin’s gun fired live lead projectile

alec baldwin

New details are emerging about the fatal shooting that happened last week on the New Mexico set of the Alec Baldwin western film Rust, including that the ammunition in question was apparently a live round of lead.

According to the Washington Post, a “lead projectile” was collected from director Joel Souza’s shoulder as evidence during the investigation by authorities.

Souza was reportedly injured in the incident, but has since left the hospital where he was treated. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after being struck in the chest when the weapon was discharged by Baldwin after an assistant director handed him the weapon, reportedly claiming it was safe to use.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza held a press conference alongside District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies Wednesday following an affidavit filed by the sheriff’s office detective, stating that AD Dave Halls gave Baldwin the weapon after incorrectly stating that it was a “cold gun,” meaning absent of any live rounds.

Nearly 600 items of evidence were collected from the set, Mendoza said, including what he believes to be the revolver Baldwin discharged and its accompanying spent shell casting. Around 500 rounds of ammunition were also collected, reportedly described by Mendoza as a “mix of blanks, dummy rounds, and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”

Criminal charges have not yet been filed in the case, though Carmack-Altwies said that cannot be ruled out as the investigation continues.

Other grim details of the case have come to light, such as Halls having picked up the gun from one of three set out on a cart by armorer Hannah Gutierrez outside the building where the scene was being filmed. After Hutchins was shot, camera operator Reid Russell recalled her saying she couldn’t feel her legs.

Halls was previously fired from the 2019 film Freedom’s Path after a similar incident resulted in a crew member being injured when a firearm was unexpectedly discharged.

Hours before the incident, some crew members walked off set citing labor issues and they were replaced with another crew.

Rust production has halted indefinitely.