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Baldwin pointed gun at camera during filming, court documents say

  • October 25, 2021

Alec Baldwin had been rehearsing when a revolver fired and struck a
cinematographer while on set last week, court documents reveal.

Alec Baldwin drew the revolver across his body and pointed it at a camera when the weapon fired and struck the cinematographer in the chest, court documents reveal.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, died after Baldwin discharged the gun while filming the new Western movie in New Mexico.

The film’s director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was shot in the shoulder.

A view of the entrance to Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot the cinematographer

Baldwin, 63, was rehearsing a scene on Thursday in which he was set to draw his gun while sitting in a church pew and point it at the camera, according to court documents released on Sunday.

He drew the revolver across his body when the weapon fired and struck the cinematographer, Mr Souza told a detective.

Mr Souza also stated that because of his job he was focusing on the monitors of the cameras and screens when the incident took place.

More on Alec Baldwin

Cameraman Reid Russell told a detective the camera was not rolling when the gun went off, striking and killing cinematographer Ms Hutchins.

He added that Baldwin was very careful when handling firearms on set, and recalled an instance when the actor made sure a child actor was not near him when a gun was being discharged.

Candles at a vigil for Halyna Hutchins in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Hollywood actor had been told the handgun was unloaded, authorities in Santa Fe stated.

In the court documents Mr Souza also told police he saw Ms Hutchins had been shot in the chest area.

“Joel then vaguely remembers (Hutchins) complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection. Joel also said (Hutchins) began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground,” the court documents read.

Alec Baldwin film set shooting: 911 call reveals chaos and panic after Halyna Hutchins was shot dead

Mr Souza also told police he remembered hearing the phrase “cold gun” being said before the incident and that the scene they were shooting did not call for the use of live rounds.

He described the gunshot as sounding like a “whip and a loud pop”.

Mr Russell, who was standing next to Ms Hutchins at the time of the shooting, told officials she also complained of not being able to feel her legs.

Halyna Hutchins was shot dead on the set of Rust by Alec Baldwin with a prop gun

Authorities said on Friday that Dave Halls, the assistant director, had handed the weapon to Baldwin and announced “cold gun”, indicating it was safe to use.

On Sunday, a crew member who had previously worked with Mr Halls said she had raised safety concerns about him in 2019.

The latest developments come as a distraught Baldwin was photographed on Saturday outside a hotel in Santa Fe embracing and talking with Matt Hutchins, the husband of Halyna Hutchins, and their nine-year-old son.

Meanwhile, production bosses have made the decision to “wrap the set” on the film Rust after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that fatally killed a cinematographer.

Media gather outside the entrance to the film set following the tragic accident

In a letter to the film’s crew obtained by NBC News, the production team offers help and support as “we all go through this tragic time and mourn the loss of our colleague and dear friend”.

“We remain in close touch with Halyna‘s family and commend the strength they show in the face of unspeakable tragedy. It is beyond an inspiration,” it reads.

It goes on to say: “As we go through this crisis, we have made the decision to wrap the set at least until the investigations are complete.

“As such, we are working through when you can pick up your personal items. You should expect an update on the wrap-out schedule tomorrow.”

Security guards stand near the entrance to Bonanza Creek Ranch

The production team adds that while their hearts are broken and it is “hard to see beyond the horizon”, this is a “pause rather than an end”.

“The spirit that brought us all to this special place remains,” the letter adds.

The letter from the film’s production crew also said it was supporting Mr Souza in his recovery – after the filmmaker said he was “gutted” by his friend and colleague’s death.

Actor Alec Baldwin leaving a New York court in 2019

It reminds the crew of the “support resources we have made available to you” and encouraged them to “reach out to the in-person and virtual grief counselors at any time”.

The letter from the film’s production crew also said it was supporting Mr Souza in his recovery – after the filmmaker said he was “gutted” by his friend and colleague’s death.

Assistant director shouted ‘cold gun’ before handing Alec Baldwin loaded prop firearm

Production bosses said they were also still cooperating with police as the investigation continues, adding they are “conducting an internal review of safety protocols”.

“As with any ongoing investigation, we are limited in our ability to say anything further publicly or privately, and ask for your patience in that regards.”

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