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Warrant in deadly shooting says Baldwin not aware prop gun had live round

UPDATE #3: Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer. That's according to court records that were released Friday.

A search warrant filed in Santa Fe, Mexico, court said the assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds. The warrant was obtained so investigators could document the scene.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot in the chest. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded.

UPDATE #2: ABC News has learned that of an email sent by local film union IATSE 44 to its members saying that a “live single round” was accidentally fired on set.

On Thursday, a producer on the film told ABC News that the shooting was a result of a “misfire of prop gun with blanks.”

Although the letter obtained Friday by ABC News suggests otherwise.

The letter reads in part:

“As many of us have already heard, there was an accidental weapons discharge on a production titled Rust being filmed in New Mexico. A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza. Both were rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, we lost Sister Hutchins who passed from the wound.”

ABC News now knows the principal lead actor they were referring to was Alec Baldwin

UPDATE: Actor Alec Baldwin on Friday morning issued a statement on Twitter about Thursday’s deadly shooting on the ‘Rust’ movie set in New Mexico.

“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 to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna,” the 68-year-old actor tweeted Friday.

Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on set of the film Thursday killing director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

ORIGINAL REPORT: SANTA FE, New Mexico — Authorities said a woman was killed and a man injured Thursday after they were shot by a prop firearm fired by actor Alec Baldwin on a movie set in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe County deputies told ABC affiliate KOAT that Baldwin shot the prop gun that killed trailblazing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injured movie director Joel Souza, 48.

Production has been halted on the Western movie “Rust,” which was being directed by Souza and produced by Baldwin. It also stars Baldwin and Jensen Ackles of "Supernatural" and began filming this month at Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch in Santa Fe - a sprawling location frequently used as a film location for Westerns.

A spokesperson for Baldwin called the incident an accident on the set involving the “misfire of a prop gun with blanks.”

Deputies responded to the film set around 2 p.m. after a 911 caller "reported a shooting on the set," the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Detectives were still determining "how and what type of projectile was discharged," the sheriff's office added, and no charges have been filed in the shooting.

Hutchins was transported via helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, the state's only Level 1 trauma center, "in critical condition," according to sheriff's deputies and the hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries, the sheriff's office said.

Souza was brought in an ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and received emergency care before later being released from the hospital.

Hutchins was a native of Ukraine who previously worked as an investigative journalist after graduating with a degree in International Journalism from Kyiv National University, according to a biography on her website. She went on to gain a degree from the American Film Institute in 2015, and was based in Los Angeles.

Hutchins was remembered by colleagues for breaking barriers for women in Hollywood's male-dominated cinematography sector. She was selected as one of the American Cinematographer's Rising Stars of 2019 and recently worked on the film "Blindfire," with director Mike Nell.

Fellow cinematographer Elle Schneider paid tribute to Hutchins in a series of tweets, remembering her as a "friend and rockstar cinematographer."

"Women cinematographers have historically been kept from genre film, and it seems especially cruel that one of the rising stars who was able to break through had her life cut short on the kind of project we've been fighting for," Schneider wrote.

"True Blood" actor Joe Manganiello shared on Instagram that he recently worked with Hutchins on the film "Archenemy," and he was in "shock" over news of her death.

"She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next," he recalled. "She was a fantastic person."

"My heart goes out to her family and especially to her son," he added. "I am so sad today for everyone who knew her and worked with her."

"We received the devastating news this evening that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography on a production called 'Rust' in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set. The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event," John Lindley, the president of the International Cinematographers Guild, local union 600, said in a statement Thursday night with Rebecca Rhine, the executive director.

"This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild's family," the statement continued.

ABC News

Associated Press

Comments

16 Comments

  1. Not a fan of Alec Baldwin, but I hope it was an accident. I will reserve judgement until all the facts are out. That being said, I suspect, like most Hollywood liberals, he didn’t know one end of a pistol from the other. And, he surely wasn’t trained not to point a gun at anyone or until he was ready to shoot, among many other rules.😢

  2. As a minimum Baldwin should be charged with negligent manslaughter. You don’t point a gun at another human being especially on a movie set. Also, the article fails to mention the filming crew was unhappy with the working conditions and walked off the set the day before.

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