The FBI has now completed its forensic analysis of the Rust shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza last year, The L.A. Times reports. Although the contents of the Bureau’s report haven’t been disclosed to the public, it’s still being viewed as a key milestone in the investigation into Hutchins’ death on the set of the low-budget Western, as New Mexico police were waiting to continue their own process until the FBI’s tests were completed.
The crux of the investigation, of course, will be who, if anyone, the police will be pursuing charges against over the incident—which occurred on October 21, 2021, and during which a gun in actor Alec Baldwin’s hand discharged while it was pointed at Hutchins, with a live round that had somehow made its way onto the film’s set firing, killing her and wounding Souza. Baldwin, also a producer on the film, has denied any responsibility for the accident, and instead pushed for investigations into how the live round made its way onto the set. Baldwin has reportedly been cooperating with New Mexico police, including providing his cell phone to them for investigation.
As we near the one-year anniversary of Hutchins’ death, the legal case surrounding Rust doesn’t seem much less murky than the confusing aftermath of the event itself. Multiple civil suits now surround the case, several of them from crew members on the production, who are accusing higher-ups of negligence; armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for firearms on the film’s set, is also suing the company that provided the ammo to her, and Hutchins’ family is suing Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed, and several other people involved in the production in a wrongful death suit.
The hope, presumably, is that the FBI analysis might clear up some of the questions surrounding Hutchins’ death—and allow a better understanding of how the events that led up to it were set in motion.