Alec Baldwin Was Practising Drawing His Gun Before Shooting Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Further details have emerged of the moments before Alec Baldwin accidentally fatally shot Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Director Joel Souza, 48, who was standing behind her at the time of the incident, was shot in the shoulder and taken to hospital. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has issued a search warrant for any footage of the scene.
In a statement, the cinematographer’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, said he’d been in touch with Baldwin, who was being ‘very supportive… our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief’.
According to the search warrant, Assistant Director Dave Halls shouted ‘cold gun’ before handing the actor the firearm, indicating it was safe to use. Neither Baldwin nor Halls are believed to have known it was loaded with live rounds.
As reported by CNN, Souza spoke to local investigators about the incident and the immediate moments preceding the gun going off.
Baldwin was ‘sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw’, the affidavit notes. Essentially, he was practising drawing his gun ahead of the scene.
As the gun fired, Souza had been looking over Hutchins’ shoulder when he heard ‘what sounded like a whip and then loud pop’, at which point he heard Hutchins ‘complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection’. Reid Russell, a camera operator on the movie, also recalled Hutchins saying ‘she couldn’t feel her legs’.
Baldwin was ‘trying to explain how he was going to draw out the firearm and where his arm would be at when the firearm was pulled from the holster’, Russell said, adding he ‘was not sure why the firearm was discharged and just remembered the loud bang from the firearm’.
Russell also said the star was ‘very careful’ with the weapon and earlier ‘made sure it was safe and that a child wasn’t near him when they were discharging a firearm during that scene’.
Three people in total had been responsible for handling any firearms for the film, Souza said: the armorer; the first assistant director; and the actor. ‘The only thing checked are the firearms to avoid live ammunition being in them. Joel (Souza) stated there should never be live rounds whatsoever near or around the scene,’ the affidavit also noted.
Following the incident, Baldwin said he was ‘fully co-operating 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’. No charges have been filed and investigations continue.
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