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Search warrant reveals new details in Alec Baldwin movie set shooting

SANTA FE, New Mexico — A search warrant provided Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office reveals new details into the moments before actor Alec Baldwin fired a deadly shot on a New Mexico movie set last week.

The accidental weapon discharge on the film set of the Western, ‘Rust,’ left the film’s director of photography dead and injured the film’s director.

Here is what we know about the deadly shooting based on an examination of search warrant documents by ABC affiliate KOAT...

What happened?

According to the search warrant that's just been released, the shooting happened just after the crew had returned from lunch after 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators interviewed the movie's director, Joel Souza. He said production was delayed due to a six-person camera crew that had quit early Thursday morning. A crew member later revealed in the same documents that the crew was having issues with payment and housing.

Souza added they eventually hired another camera crew to assist.

The warrant also states that three people were in charge of handling the firearms for the scenes, including an armorer and assistant director.

Souza said he wasn't sure if the firearm was checked after crews returned to Bonanza Creek Ranch after their lunch break.

According to the documents, the rehearsal for the scene took place inside a church building. Baldwin was described as sitting on a wooden pew facing the camera and crew.

Deputies said the assistant director handed to gun to Baldwin, yelling "cold gun." The film term is often used to indicated a weapon that does not have any live rounds.

The warrant goes on to say that Baldwin pointed and fired the revolver. That shot struck the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, in the chest. Souza, who says he was standing behind Hutchins, was hit in the shoulder.

Souza added he was was checking the camera angle on the camera lens when the shooting happened.

The search warrant says Souza told them after he heard the shot he vaguely remembered Hutchins saying her stomach hurt and grabbed her midsection. He said she started to stumble backward and was assisted to the ground.

Detectives also spoke to a cameraman who was standing next to Hutchins and Souza when the shooting occurred. That crew member told detectives he heard Hutchins say she couldn’t feel her legs after being shot. He added that on-set medics rushed over to treat her injury.

Hutchins was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque where she died from her injuries. Souza was rushed to a Santa Fe hospital and was released the following day.

After Baldwin fired the gun, deputies say the armorer took the spent casing out before handing it to deputies.

According to the documents, deputies learned Baldwin was wearing Old Western-style clothing during filming of the movie. He then changed out of them, in which police noticed blood stains.

Baldwin's clothes, along with other items like additional firearms, cameras, and memory cards, were seized by Santa Fe County authorities.

As of Monday, no charges have been filed. The investigation is still ongoing.

Crew problems?

Souza told investigators that filming started late Thursday because most of the camera crew quit that morning and they had to find another crew to film.

He said once they found another crew, filming took longer than normal because they only had one camera to film the scene.

The cameraman detectives spoke to said other members of the camera crew quit that morning because of issues with production having to do with payment and housing.

One of the crew members who walked out Thursday morning told ABC News that in addition to payment and housing issues, crew members had brought up concerns about gun safety.

That crew member claims when those issues were brought up to production, they were ignored.

He also said that there had been two accidental discharges within ten minutes of one another just days before.

Was the gun loaded?

According to an email to local film union members obtained by ABC News, “a live single round was accidentally fired on set.”

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

Some film industry sources told ABC affiliate KOAT that "live" is a popular industry term that refers to a gun just being ready for filming. So that could mean the gun could be "live" but loaded with material such as a blank.

At this time, investigators with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office have only said they are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.

Who were the victims?

According to her website, originally from Ukraine, the deceased Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015. She is known for her work on “Archenemy,” “Darlin’,” and “Blindifre” and was involved in the production of 49 film, TV and video titles, according to IMDb.

In a statement from Hutchins’ sister, Svetlana Androsovyc, said her sister’s determination was admired by many.

Hutchins’ husband released a statement on Twitter saying there were no words and asking for privacy as their family processed their grief.

The injured Souza, writer and director of “Rust,” is a San Francisco-based filmmaker known for his work on “Crown Vic” and “Break Night.” According to IMDb, before “Rust,” Souza directed five movies including, “Crown Vic,” “Break Night,” “Christmas Trade,” “Ghost Squad” and “Hanna’s Gold.” He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

He was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe to be treated for his injuries.

Where did the shooting happen?

The shooting happened at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, a popular filming location that has been the site of movies and TV series for over 60 years.

Rust started filming this month at the ranch.

"Rust" is a Western movie set in the 1880s, according to IMDb. In it, a long-time fugitive, played by Alec Baldwin, along with his estranged 13-year-old grandson, are on the run from the law.

In addition to Baldwin, the film also stars Jensen Ackles and Travis Fimmel.

In 2016, this same location was the site of a stabbing involving two coworkers.

Will charges be filed?

At this time, no charges have been filed.

A lawyer tells ABC affiliate KOAT that is unlikely charges will be filed against Baldwin, if he had no knowledge that live ammunition was possibly in the prop gun.

He adds that charges could be filed against those handling the prop weaponry on set, he added, which could range from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.

ABC News

Comments

23 Comments

        1. You’re half right. Under NM law, in order for a manslaughter charge to be filed, there must be underlying mal intent or it had to be committed during an unlawful act. Neither of those elements are present here.

          1. You don’t know that. The investigation is on-going. If he was reckless, he could still be charged. You just want to hear the facts because the shooter in this case is a Trump hating, liberal hack.

          2. Oh look it’s the uneducated c.r.a.p. house lawyer Char Lie Dumbo with his bogus legal mumbo jumbo. Wrong again.

    1. Clearly you don’t. You voted for a corrupt, incompetent, evil, lawless racist by the name of Biden who has destroyed America in 10 months. That’s stupid. 37% approval rating.

      1. In New Mexico, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. While acting in a reckless manner which may cause the death or another person. “Like pointing a gun at a person.

  1. Alec Baldwin violated so many gun safety laws he is pathetic. He should not look at, much less pick up a gun. I feel he bears the lions share of responsibility for this tragic occurrence.

    1. Obviously you missed it. No one believes you watch SNL. SNL just portrayed the worst President a few days ago nitwit. His name is Joe Biden. “SNL cold open pokes fun at Joe Biden’s low approval ratings”. October 24, 2021.

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