The gun was packed with live rounds, and when Alec Baldwin yanked the trigger Thursday on the shoot of a Western, he killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza, who was behind her, was wounded, the records told.
An assistant director unwittingly gave Alec Baldwin a loaded gun and advised him it was safe to wield moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records aired Friday show.
“Cold gun,” the assistant director proclaimed, according to a search warrant classified in a Santa Fe court.
Rather, the weapon was loaded with bullets, and when Baldwin pulled the trigger Thursday on the set of a Western, he killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded, the reports said.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office received the warrant Friday so detectives could record the scene at the ranch outside Santa Fe where the shooting took place. They strived to examine Baldwin’s blood-stained outfit for the movie “Rust,” as well as the weapon that was fired, other prop guns and ammunition, and any footage that might prevail.
The gun was one of three that the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had kept on a cart outside the wooden statue where an event was being acted, according to the records. Assistant director Dave Halls took the gun from the cart and handed it to Baldwin on set, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective penned in the search warrant application.
It was uncertain how many rounds were shot. Gutierrez pulled out a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she gave the weapon over to police when they came, the court records say.
Halls did not instantly return phone and email messages seeking an explanation. The Associated Press was incapable to reach Gutierrez, and many messages sent to production companies affiliated with the movie were not instantly returned Friday.
The film’s script manager, Mamie Mitchell, told her she was right next to Hutchins when she was shot.
“I ran out and called 911 and said ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,’” Mitchell told The Associated Press. “This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.”
Mitchell told that she and other crew units were attending a private memorial service Friday night in Santa Fe.
Baldwin interpreted the killing as a “tragic accident.”
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
No immediate arrests were classified, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was allowed to travel.
“He’s a free man,” Rios said.