World

Baldwin was told gun was ‘cold’ before movie set shooting

October 23, 2021
Alec Baldwin wrote on Twitter:
Alec Baldwin wrote on Twitter: "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

SANTA FE, N.M — As a film crew and actors in Western garb prepared to rehearse a scene inside a wooden, chapel-like building on a desert movie ranch outside Santa Fe, assistant director Dave Halls stepped outside and grabbed a prop gun off a cart.

He walked back in and handed it to the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, assuring him it was safe to use because it didn’t have live ammo. “Cold gun,” Halls yelled.

It wasn’t, according to court records made public Friday. Instead, when Baldwin pulled the trigger Thursday, he killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, AP reports.

The tragedy came nearly three decades after Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died in a similar case, and it prompted horrified questions about how it could have happened again.

The executive producer of ABC’s police drama “The Rookie” announced Friday the show would no longer use “live” weapons because the “safety of our cast and crew is too important.”

Details of the shooting at the ranch on Bonanza Creek Road were included in a search warrant application filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators were seeking to examine Baldwin’s blood-stained costume for the film “Rust,” 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 armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the building where a scene was being acted, according to the records.

Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.

It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say.

Earlier on Friday, Baldwin — who was the star and producer of the film — said he was "fully cooperating" with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna," he wrote on Twitter.

"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."

Hutchins, 42, was from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Keiv, and film in Los Angeles, and was named a "rising star" by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019. She was the director of photography for the 2020 action film Archenemy, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer.

No immediate charges were filed, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was permitted to travel. “He’s a free man,” Rios said. — Agencies


October 23, 2021
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