Lead bullet in 'Rust' shooting was pulled from director's shoulder, sheriffs say

·2 min read
Set of the movie "Rust"
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
  • Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza said a lead projectile was recovered from Joel Souza's shoulder.

  • Souza was injured in a shooting on the set of "Rust" after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun.

  • The shooting left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead.

The lead bullet that was discharged from a gun by Alec Baldwin on the set of "Rust" in New Mexico last week was recovered from the director's shoulder, Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in a press conference on Wednesday.

"The actual lead projectile that was fired has been recovered from the shoulder of Mr. [Joel] Souza," Mendoza said, adding that it was recovered by medical personnel while the "Rust" director was being treated for his wound.

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for "Rust" when he fired the gun, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring Souza.

Mendoza said one bullet struck both Hutchins and Souza.

The prop gun used in the incident - a long Colt .45 revolver - was set up by the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and given to Baldwin by assistant director Dave Halls, affidavits state.

Hall had said "cold gun" as he handed the prop gun to Baldwin, a phrase used to inform others there's no ammunition, - including blanks - in a gun.

However, a newly released affidavit revealed that Halls said he didn't check all the rounds in the gun before handing it to Baldwin.

Halls did not immediately return a request for comment.

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said at Wednesday's press conference that investigators were not ruling out charges in connection to the shooting.

"All options are on the table at this point," she said.

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