An assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin a loaded prop gun on the set of the western “Rust” told the actor the firearm was “cold,” or unloaded, officials say.
The assistant director “did not know live rounds were in” one of the three guns set aside on a cart for filming before Baldwin fired the gun, striking cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest and director Joel Souza in the shoulder, killing Hutchins and hospitalizing Souza, according to court records obtained by the Associated Press, New York Times and Santa Fe Reporter on Friday. While the warrant affidavit filed by Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office investigators offers new details about the moments immediately before and after Thursday’s shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico, the document does not answer how the live round ended up in the gun.
The fatal incident on a set of a film about the fallout of an accidental killing has rattled many — leaving lingering questions about the safety of firearms on the set.
No charges have been filed and the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office says an investigation remains “open and active.”
“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,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the hospital where she died. Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical and was released Friday.
Magistrate Judge John Rysanek signed off Friday on investigators’ search warrant for Baldwin’s bloodied shirt, firearms, and ammunition on the set, as well as cameras that could have caught the shooting and its aftermath.