SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. — Actor Alec Baldwin was unaware that he was holding a gun that contained live rounds Thursday before firing the weapon on the set of the film “Rust,” killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.
According to the AP, officials said in a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court that the film’s assistant director indicated that the gun was safe to use. KOAT reported that the assistant director said the weapon was a “cold gun,” meaning that it had no live rounds in it.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died, according to the Santa Fe Reporter. Souza, 48, was released from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe on Friday, according to the newspaper.
The assistant director told investigators that he did not know there were live rounds in the gun, KOAT reported. It was one of three prop guns being used as the crew was rehearsing, according to the news station.
The incident happened around 1:50 p.m. Thursday, CNN reported. No charges were immediately filed.
In the search warrant, authorities said the film crew’s armorer retrieved the gun after the shooting along with a spent casing, and turned both over to detectives, according to the Reporter. Baldwin changed out of the costume he was wearing for rehearsal and gave it to authorities as well before voluntarily going to the sheriff’s office to provide a statement, the newspaper reported.
Hours before the shooting, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set of “Rust” in protest of working conditions, The Los Angeles Times reported, citing three unidentified people familiar with the matter. A source told the newspaper that as camera crew members who are members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees were assembling their gear, several nonunion crew members showed up to replace them. A member of the producer staff subsequently ordered union members to leave, the Times reported.
“Corners were being cut — and they brought in nonunion people so they could continue shooting,” a source told the newspaper. The person told the Times that “there was a serious lack of safety meetings on this set,” adding that the prop gun misfired twice on Saturday and once the week before.
In a series of tweets published Friday, Baldwin expressed “shock and sadness” over “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 to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family,” he wrote. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Authorities continue to investigate.
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