Alec Baldwin shooting investigation stalled by FBI forensics of gun and ammo
'Rust' armorer lawyer wants a DNA test of the live round
This story is updated 3/18 12pm with the “Rust” armorer’s lawyer’s comments on the FBI investigation.
It’s been almost five months since Alec Baldwin shot and killed his cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a movie set. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s investigation is stalled until it gets the results of the FBI forensic analysis of the gun and ammunition used in the “Rust” shooting.
The sheriff expected to get the results by the end of February, but it’s delayed. The sheriff’s spokesman, Juan Rios, told me that they are waiting on the information from the FBI.
“They’ll provide the data when they are done. We wait for that,” said Rios.
I called the FBI in Washington and asked when the “Rust” gun and ammunition forensics results will be sent to the Santa Fe Sheriff. A spokesman said they never comment on specific cases. The FBI crime laboratory in Quantico, Va is doing the analysis.
I asked for general information on the process: What is the normal time frame for sending the results of these forensics investigations? What is the procedure in working with local law enforcement?
The FBI didn’t answer my questions but referred me to its website page - linked below- for the FBI Firearms/Toolmarks Unit.
Looking at the FBI website, it appears that forensics will do firearms function testing to determine whether or not it was an accidental discharge. Baldwin has sworn in media interviews and in a civil court filing that he never pulled the trigger of the revolver.
The actor blames whoever put at least one live round with either dummy rounds or blanks into the revolver. He’s been implicitly blaming the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
However, Reed’s lawyer Jason Bowles said in a statement — attached below along with her emails to producers about her job— that Baldwin is to blame for pointing the gun at Hutchins and for not getting training for a cross draw.
I asked Bowles about the FBI forensics investigation.
“I believe the FBI forensic analysis is going to be important to determine who touched all of the live rounds to help determine how they got on set,” Bowles said.
“My hope is that the Sheriff will obtain DNA samples from all potential persons who could have touched the rounds to verify against the FBI’s analysis so that we can get the truth on how the live rounds got on set.”
I asked the FBI if it processes DNA on its forensic reports from the Firearms/Tookmarks section. I got this email back: “The FBI declines to comment on investigative techniques and refers you to the lead agency for questions about the investigation.”
I asked the Sheriff’s spokesman if they will take DNA samples. Rios replied, “We don’t comment on such matters regarding open investigations.”
Baldwin’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the investigation.