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‘Rust’ Producers Hire Lawyers to Investigate Fatal Shooting as Federal Investigators Question Team


Federal workplace investigators began speaking with the “Rust” crew after the fatal shooting shooting in New Mexico last week, the production company behind the film said in a letter to workers.

The letter, obtained by NBC News on Tuesday, said the company would coordinate investigators’ interviews with crew members and that its lawyers would be present during the questioning “when permitted.”

“As you may know, it is standard practice for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate workplace fatalities,” the production company wrote. “So OSHA visited Rust’s production set and began interviewing team members.”

The company also said it hired a legal team to investigate the shooting, which has indefinitely suspended production of the film in Santa Fe County.

On Thursday, a gun which witnesses said was declared safe by the assistant director exploded as “Rust” actor and producer Alec Baldwin was training for a scene, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, said sheriff’s investigators in search warrant documents.

Director Joel Souza, 48, was injured.

The producers told team members that their lawyers would participate in the interviews “to reduce the number of times you are inconvenienced.”

“We know it will be difficult to relive this tragedy, but your participation is important so that we can all fully understand what happened, and we encourage you to share your point of view,” the company wrote. “It is also common, when investigations are underway, to require witnesses to keep any information they have, such as emails, text messages, readers, paper documents or other physical items. you have questions about the need to keep something, please get it wrong on the preservation side.

Labor law experts say non-supervisory workers have the right to speak to OSHA investigators without a company lawyer present.



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