Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded gun by an assistant director who told him it was safe to use moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, according to court documents.
The director did not know the gun contained live rounds and shouted “cold gun” on the set of indie Western Rust, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court.
Halyna Hutchins died after Baldwin pulled the trigger on Thursday. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded and treated in hospital.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant so investigators could document movie set at the ranch in New Mexico where the shooting took place.
They sought Baldwin’s blood-stained costume as evidence, as well as the weapon that was fired, other prop guns and ammunition, and any footage that might exist.
The gun was one of three that the film’s armourer had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted, according to the records.
An assistant director grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin while unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.
It was unclear how many rounds were fired.
Rust’s production company has launched an internal safety review after the movie was plagued with safety issues, according to Deadline.
The website reports that there had been at least one other incident of a gun misfiring and crew has staged a walkout over safety concerns.
One member of the crew wrote about the issues on a private Facebook group.
“We cited everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of Covid safety, and on top of that, poor gun safety!” the post said. “Poor on-set safety period!”
Baldwin issued a statement following the shooting saying his “heart was broken” for Hutchins’ family.
Tweets posted on the official account of the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation said: “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…”
A second tweet said: “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.”
“I have spoken with Alec Baldwin and he is being very supportive,” he said.