“Rust” Producers Hire Lawyers to Interview Cast and Crew After Fatal Shootout on Set

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An aerial view of the set of Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured a director when he fired a pistol on the set of the movie “Rust” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, in this screenshot taken from television footage on October 21, 2021. Images taken on October 21, 2021.

KOB TV NEWS | Reuters

The producers of “Rust” hired a leading law firm to interview the cast and crew about the accidental filming on the set of Halyna Hutchins last Thursday.

Jenner & Block’s appointment comes just hours after the Sante Fe County District Attorney told The New York Times that “everything at this point, including the criminal charges, is in working order.”

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In a letter to the cast and crew obtained by NBC News, the producers of “Rust” said the Occupation Safety and Health Administration was investigating the death of Hutchins at work.

“In addition to cooperating with authorities, we have engaged a legal team from Jenner & Block to investigate the events,” the memo reads. “We have emphasized that they will have full discretion as to who to interview and what conclusions they draw.”

“We know that reliving this tragedy will be difficult, but your participation is important so that we can all fully understand what happened, and we encourage you to share your point of view,” he continued.

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The letter reminded cast and crew that investigators want witnesses to keep all information they have about the case, including emails, texts, readers and paper documents.

“If you have questions about whether something should be preserved, please err on the side of preservation,” the memo reads.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies are expected to provide more information on the ongoing investigation on Wednesday.

Court documents released Friday show actor Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded gun by assistant director Dave Halls, who said it could be safely used moments before the actor killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

A search warrant filed with a Santa Fe court shows the deputy warden was unaware the prop pistol was loaded with live ammunition.

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Halls was previously fired from filming ‘Freedom’s Path’ in 2019 after a crew member suffered a minor, temporary injury when a gun unexpectedly discharged, a producer told NBC of the project.

It has also been reported that the weapon that killed Hutchins was used by crew members for live ammunition practice. The Wrap was the first to report this detail.

Additionally, someone familiar with the matter told NBC News that half a dozen film crews left the “Rust” set to protest the working conditions hours before filming. Among their concerns were multiple accidental discharges from the propeller pistol.

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