The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

‘Careful’ Alec Baldwin had ordered child away when previously discharging gun on set

The actor accidentally misfired a prop gun on the set of his film ‘Rust’ leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 25 October 2021 13:42
Calls for changes as vigil held for cinematographer killed on Alec Baldwin movie set

A cameraman working onRust said Alec Baldwin was careful with prop guns on set, after a shooting accident led to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’s death.

According to court documents filed by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department on Sunday, and accessed by The New York Times, camera operator Reid Russell confirmed that the actor was “very careful” of his surroundings when rehearsing or shooting with firearms.

Russell also shared an instance when Baldwin ensured that no child actors were present when he discharged a gun.

The tragic incident occurred on Thursday (21 October) at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.

Baldwin accidentally misfired a prop gun with a live round, instead of blank cartridges, killing Hutchins and wounding Rust director Joel Souza.

Russell also reportedly told authorities that the camera wasn’t rolling when Hutchins and Souza were shot.

According to the affidavit filed in court on 24 October, Souza was standing behind Hutchins when the tragedy occurred. After being transported to a local hospital for treatment, Souza was discharged on Friday (22 October).

His statement is also included in the affidavit.

Souza told authorities that he heard the phrase “cold gun” — meaning safe for use — before the shooting. It has been reported that the film’s assistant director Dave Halls handed Baldwin the prop gun after indicating the gun did not have live rounds.

Explaining how the shooting had occurred, the director of Crown Vic said that Baldwin had been sitting in a wooden church pew, rehearsing a scene that involved “cross drawing” a gun and pointing it at the camera lens.

Hutchins was viewing the camera angle at the time.

Souza said he saw Hutchins grabbing her midsection and starting to stumble backwards, before noticing he was bleeding from his shoulder. Hutchins had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest area.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

In a statement issued on Friday, Baldwin said: “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

The 30 Rock actor was reportedly seen comforting Hutchins’s husband Matthew and their son over the weekend. The 42-year-old cinematographer’s father, Anatoly Androsovych said he doesn’t hold Baldwin responsible for his daughter’s death.

“It is the responsibility of the props people who handle the guns.”

The fatal shooting has turned the focus on firearm safety, with many in Hollywood asking for a complete ban on real guns while shooting.

Amazon series The Boys creator Eric Kripke pledged to ban real guns from the sets of his TV shows in the aftermath of Hutchins’ death.

An investigation into the incident is now in its fourth day; follow the latest updates on our live blog here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in