Actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene where his character drew a weapon and pointed it toward the camera lens when the gun was fired, striking and killing the film’s cinematographer, according to the film’s director who was also shot.
In an affidavit released Sunday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Joel Souza, the director of “Rust,” said Baldwin was sitting in a church pew practicing drawing the weapon and “pointing his revolver towards the camera lens” when Halyna Hutchins, 42, was fatally wounded and Souza was also shot, USA Today reported.
Souza said he was standing beside Hutchins when the shot was fired. He said he was “concentrating on the monitors” when he heard what “sounded like a whip and then loud pop” then heard Hutchins “complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection.”
Souza told police that Hutchins “began to stumble backwards and was assisted to the ground.” He realized soon after that he was bleeding from an injury to his shoulder.
The New York Times reported that the film’s assistant director grabbed a prop pistol from a cart and handed it to Baldwin, shouting “cold gun!” — which is supposed to indicate that the weapon does not have any live ammunition in it.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, according to law enforcement authorities. No charges have been filed in the incident.
Baldwin removed the gun from its holster once without incident, according to The Los Angeles Times. However, the second time he drew the gun, he apparently pulled the trigger and the bullet hit Hutchins and Souza, the story said. A third person standing near the two was not struck.
According to investigators, a cameraman on the crew of “Rust” said Baldwin was “very careful” with the firearms on the movie’s set. Baldwin had made a point of making sure a child actor was not nearby before discharging a gun during the filming of a prior scene, the cameraman said.