An assistant director unwittingly handed Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, according to court documents.
“Cold gun”, the assistant director announced, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe, Arizona court.
Gun loaded with live rounds
Instead the gun was loaded with live rounds when Baldwin pulled the trigger on Thursday.
Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind Halyna Hutchins, was wounded, the records said.
Halyna, 42, was airlifted to hospital in New Mexico after being injured by the prop gun on the set of the Western film, but was pronounced dead by medical staff.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office later obtained a warrant so investigators could document the scene at the ranch outside Santa Fe where the shooting took place.
They sought Baldwin’s blood-stained costume for the film Rust 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, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted, according to the records.
Assistant director Dave Halls 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.
‘No words to convey my shock’
The actor confirmed he is “fully co-operating” with the police investigation after he fired theprop gun on the US set of the Western.
In a statement posted on his arts foundation’s social media account, Baldwin described the event as a “tragedy” and said he is in communication with Hutchins’s husband.
The tweets 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 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.”
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