Alec Baldwin was rehearsing Rust scene when prop gun shooting occurred, authorities say
New details about the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were released by authorities this weekend in a court file seeking permission to search on the set of the film Rust in Santa Fe, N.M.
According to information provided to police by director Joel Souza, as cited in the affidavits obtained by EW, actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene on Thursday inside the church building at the Bonanza Creek Ranch when the incident occurred.
The rehearsal involved Baldwin "cross drawing his weapon and pointing the revolver towards the camera lens" before the weapon fired, according to the affidavits. Souza, who was standing by Hutchins, was injured but was later released from a nearby hospital. Hutchins died from her wounds after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier that about a dozen crew members walked off the Rust set in protest of unsafe working conditions and were then replaced by production with nonunion members. The information in the affidavits doesn't confirm this, though authorities make note they were told that the morning of the incident, production got off to a late start because of "a camera crew that had quit." Production then "had to find another camera crew to help film the movie."
Laying out the events as they say they were recounted to them, the police reported that armorer Hannah Gutierrez first checked the prop gun before it was given to assistant director Dave Halls for further inspection. Halls allegedly pronounced the prop a "cold gun" on set, meaning it didn't contain live rounds. However, the affidavits state that the police were told Halls "did not know live rounds were in the prop gun" before it had been given to Baldwin.
The actor released his own statement after the incident on Friday, expressing his "shock and sadness" over Hutchins' death.
"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family," Baldwin tweeted. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
Serge Svetnoy, the gaffer and chief electrician on Rust, shared his opinion on the incident over Facebook, noting he "was holding" Hutchins in his arms as she was dying.
"It's the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism," he wrote. "The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!"
Police investigators haven't yet issued any comment or finding as to the qualifications of any of the crew members or their precise actions. Representatives for Baldwin and the Rust production didn't immediately respond to to EW's requests for comment.