SANTA FE, New Mexico (AP) – New Mexico authorities said Wednesday they found a lead projectile believed to have been fired from a pistol used in the fatal shooting in the film.
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Investigators discussed their initial findings during the shooting, in which actor Alec Baldwin fired a pistol, killing the cameraman and wounding the director.
Tests are under way to determine if the lead projectile found on director Joel Sousa’s shoulder was fired from a pistol used by Baldwin.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said it was too early to comment on whether any charges would be brought. He also noted that during a search of the kit, 500 cartridges were found – a mixture of blank cartridges, empty cartridges and live ammunition.
The sheriff did not comment on how the rounds went.
Investigators said they will also be monitoring reports of other incidents of misfiring from firearms used on set.
READ MORE: Officials said Alec Baldwin fired a rifle, killing the operator
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altvis said investigators cannot say if it was negligence and by whom at the moment.
Both the sheriff and the district attorney said they would not rush to sentencing and that further investigation was needed.
The shooting has puzzled Hollywood professionals and sparked calls for better regulation of the use of firearms on set or even banning them in the era of seamless computer images. The court records state that the assistant director pulled a pistol from the cart and shouted, “Cold steel,” stating that the weapon was safe.
The film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said she checked the dummy bullets on the day of filming to make sure none of them were “hot.” She also told the detective that although the weapons used for the filming were locked during the crew’s lunch break, the ammunition was left in an unprotected cart, according to a search warrant released Wednesday ahead of the press conference.
Gutierrez Reed told the detective that live ammunition was never stored on set.
Assistant director David Halls, who handed the pistol to Baldwin before shooting, said Gutierrez Reed used to open the gun hatch and spin the drum, although he couldn’t remember if she did this before shooting. He said he remembered seeing only three cartridges in the pistol.
After the shooting, Halls took the pistol to Gutierrez and said that he saw five cartridges in the pistol, at least four of them were “dummies”, as indicated by the hole on the side and the cap on the cartridge. Halls said the pistol also had a shroud that had no cap and no hole to indicate it was a dummy.
“David said the incident was not a deliberate act,” the warrant says.
A warrant was issued Wednesday to search the truck that was used on the set.