"To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people,” a crew member said.

A “lead projectile” was recovered from director Joel Souza’s shoulder as evidence in the fatal shooting last week on the set of the western “Rust,” according to authorities.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza held a news conference with District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies Wednesday in Santa Fe, N.M., nearly a week after Alec Baldwin discharged a firearm while rehearsing a scene on the nearby set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring Souza. An affidavit filed by a sheriff’s office detective stated that assistant director Dave Halls handed Baldwin the weapon after mistakenly describing it as a “cold gun,” a term meaning it did not contain a live round.

Mendoza said at the conference that his office collected roughly 600 pieces of evidence from the set, including what he believes to be the Colt revolver Baldwin discharged and the spent shell casing from what was fired. They also gathered around 500 rounds of ammunition — which Mendoza described as a “mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds” — and two additional firearms: a single-action revolver that appeared to have been modified, as well as a plastic, nonfunctioning weapon.

The items have been submitted to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Va., according to Mendoza, who referred to the projectile as a “suspected live round.” He said the round extracted from Souza’s shoulder appeared to be the same one that killed Hutchins, but that the medical investigator would need to confirm as much.

Carmack-Altwies said criminal charges have not been ruled out in the case, but that it is too early in the investigation to determine whether they will be filed at any point. Mendoza stressed that his office still needs to conduct numerous interviews; detectives spoke to the 16 people in the vicinity of the shooting, he said, but there were approximately 90 people on set that day.

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