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The Affidavit From The Rust Set Tragedy Is Now Public

The Affidavit From The Rust Set Tragedy Is Now Public

More details have emerged about the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, including how Alec Baldwin “had been very careful” about gun safety in the days and hours leading up to the incident, according to crew members. The new info was revealed Monday, October 25, in a police affidavit from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department, which was obtained by Deadline.

Specifically, a cameraman who was on set and standing next to Hutchins and director Joel Souza — who was also shot and injured — told cops that Baldwin would always make sure it was safe to film before firing a prop weapon. “He said Alec had been very careful, and brought up an instance when a scene was being filmed earlier,” the police affidavit reads. Authorities said the cameraman, identified as Reid Russell, witnessed Baldwin on one occasion make sure “it was safe and that a child wasn’t near him when they were discharging a firearm” during a different scene.

Baldwin had been practicing his cross-draw — when someone draws a firearm that’s holstered on the opposite side — when he accidentally shot Hutchins and Souza on Thursday, October 21, 2021. He was said to have been facing directly at the camera, where the pair were standing, when a live round somehow went off and struck them both. Police on Monday offered more details about what went on before and after the shooting.

Camera crew quit and walked off the set hours before shooting

In the affidavit, authorities describe how seven members of the camera crew had quit their jobs and walked off set following a dispute with “Rust” producers. The incident caused delays and other problems for the cast and crew in the hours leading up to the accidental shooting, according to police.

“The day started off late due to a camera crew that had quit and they had to find another camera crew to help film the movie,” the affidavit alleges. “Joel [Souza] said once they hired another camera crew to assist, the day was taking longer than usual because they only had one camera to do the filming. Joel was asked about the employees’ behavior, and he said everyone was getting along there were no altercations that took place to his knowledge.” Cameraman Reid Russell told police that the crew “was having issues with production involving payment and housing.” It’s unclear where these crew members were at the time of the shooting. In the affidavit, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department laid out a timeline of events involving the prop gun that was used by Baldwin, including whose hands it went through that day.

Several people handled Baldwin's prop gun

According to police, there were a number of crew members who came in contact with the prop gun used in Hutchins’ death.

“During the filming of the movie, the Assistant Director (Dave Halls) grabbed one of three ‘prop-guns’ that was set-up by the Armorer (Hannah Gutierrez), which was on a cart,” the affidavit says. “One of the prop-guns was then grabbed by the Assistant Director (Dave Halls) and he took it to the actor identified as Alec Baldwin who was inside of the structure. As the Assistant Director (Dave Halls) handed the gun to the Actor Alec Baldwin, (Dave Halls) yelled, ‘Cold Gun,’ indicating the prop-gun did not have any live rounds. The prop-gun was fired by the Actor Alec Baldwin, striking the Cinematographer identified as (Halayna Hutchins) and Joel Souza (Director) who was behind the Cinematographer (Halayna Hutchins).”

Director Joel Souza told authorities that before the shooting he and the others had taken a break for lunch before returning to the set for the cross draw scene. According to the affidavit, Souza was “not sure if the firearm was checked again” upon their return from lunch. However, the investigation remains ongoing. Police are expected to give an update on Wednesday, October 27, with the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office.

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