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Attorney explains who could be responsible for 'Rust' film shooting

rust film shooting
Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 18:24:14-04

Authorities continue to investigate the shooting on the set of "Rust." But who is ultimately responsible?

Alec Baldwin shot the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Joseph Ramos, an attorney and medical doctor, says Baldwin's actions will be scrutinized closely.

"The very first person they are going to look at is Alec Baldwin and I think he has more culpability, more exposures as a producer than as an actor," Ramos said.

Ramos says a number of factors will be considered as prosecutors decide whether charges will be filed.

“Pointing and pulling are intentional acts and there are multiple cases of that person then being charged," Ramos said. “So in this case, it’s very unique because Alec Baldwin pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. That would form the basis of a criminal charge. The very unique aspect of this case is that he’s on a movie set and he’s acting. So that really becomes key in this case as to what the prosecutors will do.”

There are three key players who handled the gun on set: Baldwin, assistant director David Halls, and the film's armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed.

Ramos says how a live round ended up in the gun will be a question Gutierrez Reed will have to answer.

“There’s been these reports that probably in some downtime target shooting, they’re out in the middle of a ranch in New Mexico and they are target shooting and they are saying that this may be how these live rounds got on scene. There is no reason ever on a movie set to be having a mixture of live rounds and blank rounds, that falls directly on her," Ramos said.

The legal process isn't short.

“The very first thing will go on is the investigation and they will sort all of these questions out. Who is responsible for the guns, who is responsible for the storage of the ammo, who brought the ammo out to this scene for the target shooting that was occurring, who allowed that to happen, what were the safety protocols and how were they followed, what was the staffing and why was Dave Halls handling the gun," Ramos said.

Throughout this investigation, civil and criminal cases will likely be discussed.

Ramos explains a civil case is when a loss is replaced, usually dealing with monetary compensation. A criminal case is when something happens, either carelessly or recklessly, to the extent that it should have never happened.

Ramos expects numerous civil cases to come out of the tragedy. As for a criminal case, he says that's still up in the air, but not impossible.