Authorities continue to search for answers in the case of an accidental shooting incident involving Alec Baldwin that claimed the life of a film crew member on a New Mexico movie set last week and how a gun with live ammunition could have been handed to the actor.
The tragic accident took place during the filming of the western “Rust” when Baldwin discharged the .45 Long Colt, firing the round that struck cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza with Hutchins being transported by helicopter to the hospital where would succumb to her wounds.
Baldwin, who pulled the trigger that ended her life, was visibly distraught and remains desperate to absolve himself of any blame after he was allegedly given a “cold” gun, an industry term for an unloaded weapon. On Wednesday, he retweeted a New York Times story that assistant director Dave Halls admitted to law enforcement that he had failed to inspect the individual rounds in the gun, a major failure that had fatal consequences.
The Times reported that, in an affidavit released Wednesday, a detective for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office wrote of Halls, “He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t.” The affidavit is being used to request a search warrant that could shed light on how the accident could have occurred.
It isn’t clear why live ammo was present on the set which is strictly prohibited. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is the armorer for the film, told a detective, “no live ammo is ever kept on set,” and that she had checked “dummy rounds” on the day of the incident.
According to the affidavit, Halls told a detective, “I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there is no live fire, she opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say ‘cold gun on set,” referring to Gutierrez-Reed.
“Mr. Halls said that when Ms. Gutierrez-Reed showed him the gun before they continued the rehearsal, he only remembered seeing three rounds. He could not recall if she had ‘spun the drum,’ according to the affidavit,” The Times reported.
She told a detective that prior to the shooting, the crew broke for lunch and that “the ammunition was left out on a cart on the set.”
According to the Times:
After the shooting, Mr. Halls said, he picked up the gun from a pew inside the church and took it to Ms. Gutierrez-Reed. When she opened it, he said, according to the affidavit, he could see “at least four dummy casings with the holes on the side, and one without the hole. He advised this did not have the cap on it and was just the casing.” Dummy rounds are sometimes identified by a pierced hole on the side.
Gutierrez-Reed reportedly “told the detective that at the start of the lunch break, the firearms were secured inside a safe on a ‘prop truck.’ During that time, she said that some ammunition was left on a cart, where it was ‘not secured,’ and some was kept in the truck, according to the affidavit,” the newspaper added.
“After lunch, the film’s prop master, Sarah Zachry, took the firearms from the safe and handed them to Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer, according to Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s account to the detective. ‘She advised there are only a few people that have access and the combination to the safe,’ the affidavit said,” The Times reported.
The affidavit was filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court as the basis for a search warrant for the “prop truck.”
Baldwin had previously tweeted out a link to another story that he was told the gun was safe before the shooting.
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 23, 2021
Baldwin, who is an outspoken critic of the 2nd Amendment, took to Twitter to express his condolences to Hutchins’ family after the shooting.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Whether the actor will face charges for the shooting remains unknown.
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