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Alec Baldwin appears on bodycam video telling Santa Fe investigators he felt “no recoil” when he inadvertently fired a .45-caliber Old West revolve in the fatal “Rust” movie shooting that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in late October.
“When I shot the gun, away from the cameraman, I never aim the gun a camera, I turned and I went like this,” he tells investigators, making a gun with his fingers and panning his arm across a cluttered table in an interview room at the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. “And she was there. And the gun went off. And she just went right on the ground.”
Alec Baldwin makes a gun with his fingers while speaking with investigators following the “Rust” movie shooting that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead in October.
(Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)
Investigators looking into the on-set shooting released a trove of files Monday in connection with the incident that left Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza injured. Minutes after the gunfire, Baldwin is shown asking about Hutchin’s condition.
The files include interviews with key witnesses at the scene and later in the sheriff’s office, including Baldwin, first assistant director David Halls, armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed, prop master Sarah Zachry as well as incident reports, crime scene photos and other evidence.
Baldwin tells his interviewers that “Hannah handed me the gun,” referencing the armorer and contradicting contemporaneous police reports that stated Halls had handed Baldwin the gun and told him it was “cold” or safe, before the incident.
Alec Baldwin appears on video rehearsing with an Old West-style revolver before a fatal “Rust” movie shooting took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in Santa Fe in late October.
(Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)
Halls separately told investigators about industry standard safety checks and gun handling guidelines.
“This movie is done,” he told deputies. “It’s too scarred. The director of photography was killed. The director was injured. Alec Baldwin was involved.”
Souza also told police “the armorer” handed Baldwin the gun and described the incident from his perspective in an interview from his hospital bed which he later said he could not recall because he was “zonked out” on medication.
“A very loud bang, and it felt like somebody kicked me in the shoulder,” he said from his hospital bed. “And then I was down on my a–, and then I look over and see the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, with blood coming out of her back…I think it went through her and into me.”
He asked the deputy about Hutchins’ condition, but the officer did not know at the time.
Another video shows first responders desperately treating Hutchins and Souza on the church floor. She appears conscious for much of the encounter.
A rattled Baldwin asks for a cigarette and about the conditions of Hutchins and Souza.
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Subsequent bodycam video appears to show a deputy speaking with Baldwin on speakerphone. He questions how a live round could have been present on set and asks whether a “defective” dummy round could actually fire.
“So there’s a chance that it was actually a dummy that was defective?” Baldwin asks on speakerphone. “I’ve never heard of that.”
She tells him the investigation is ongoing, and the discussion shifts toward media coverage of the tragedy.
“Once again Alec, Mr. Baldwin, I want you to know that we are trying not to provide as much information to the media,” she says. “They have been calling the office of our PIO (public information officer) nonstop.”
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Later, after spending more than an hour speaking with investigators in an interview room at the sheriff’s office, he is seen slumping forward, cradling his face and putting a hand over his heart before exiting the room with his head down.
One bodycam video shows Gutierrez Reed, wearing a flannel shirt over a black T-shirt in the back of police truck, sullenly telling the deputy her role on the set.
“I’m their armorer,” she says. “Or at least I was.”
In a separate video at the sheriff’s office, she describes the job in greater detail.
“I’m supposed to check the guns and I load the guns and I hand the guns off to the actor,” she says. She tells the investigator she’s only been working as an armorer for a few months but had been around guns her whole life.
Her father is an established Hollywood armorer as well.
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. Inset: Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong | Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)
There was so much interest in the files that the sheriff’s office sent out an apology within minutes after its Dropbox account had been suspended due to an excess of traffic.
Several videos from a security camera in the sheriff’s interview room do not appear to have sound.
After being led into the interview room, Baldwin is seen sitting alone for about four minutes before investigators enter and begin speaking with him. During that time, he is shown playing with his phone and calling someone.
He then speaks with investigators for over an hour, using a variety of hand gestures, at several points making a gun with his fingers.
Bodycam video shows deputies speaking with assistant director David Halls on the “Rust” movie set in October.
(Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)
Near the end of the interview, he can be seen cradling his face in his hand, as though he’s just received bad news.
Bodycam video from a responding deputy shows the harrowing arrival of first responders, who rushed to provide aid to Hutchins and Souza, both of whom are shown laying on the floor of a Wild West-era church used as a backdrop for the ill-fated scene.
“We need a seal,” one of the medics says. “Do you have a seal?”
The deputy rifles through his bag frantically.
“A seal?” he replies. “I’ve got a sterile glove, packing gauze,” he replies.
They discuss the extent of Hutchins injuries and note that a medical helicopter is on its way.
Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the cinematography world when she was hit with a projectile on set that ultimately killed her.
(Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)
An investigation from the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau released last week found serious safety violations on set and an abandonment of industry norms. Halls allegedly handed Baldwin the weapon without performing safety checks alongside Gutierrez Reed.
Authorities said they were not yet ready to release certain other evidence, including an analysis of Baldwin’s cellphone data, or information on ballistics, DNA and fingerprints.
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Baldwin has denied any wrongdoing in the incident and said he didn’t pull the trigger when the gun fired a .45-caliber round through Hutchins and into Souza’s shoulder.
The Directors Guild of America, which represents more than 19,000 filmmakers including Souza, launched a review committee to improve on-set safety following in response to the shooting earlier this month.
The low-budget “Rust” movie’s shooting allegedly followed a number of missteps and failures to meet the bare minimum of industry safety protocols, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ family.
After lunch on Oct. 21, assistant director David Halls allegedly handed Baldwin a loaded .45 revolver during rehearsal, telling him it was a “cold gun,” or safe. While going through a scene, with the cameras off, he pulled out the firearm just a few feet away from the victims, according to the lawsuit.
FILE – The Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the film “Rust” was being filmed, appears in Santa Fe, N.M. on Oct. 23, 2021. On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, New Mexico workplace safety regulators issued the maximum possible fine against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set of “Rust” where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October 2021 by actor and producer Alec Baldwin.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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Baldwin aimed the weapon at Hutchins and toyed with the hammer while practicing for a scene, according to court filings. The gun went off.
“I think it’s clear what happened,” Brian Panish, the lead attorney for Hutchins’ husband and son, told reporters in February. “Alec had the gun in his hand. He shot it. Halyna was killed.”
The wrongful death lawsuit names Baldwin and a number of co-defendants connected with the movie’s production, alleging they “had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations.”
Director Joel Souza was also hit by the projectile, but has since been released from the hospital.
(Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
Baldwin’s attorneys have called accusations of recklessness “entirely false” and last week claimed a workplace safety investigation had “exonerated” him – even as the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau leveled a maximum fine of $139,793 against the film’s production company. Baldwin was both a star and a producer of the film.
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Industry guidelines clearly instruct actors to treat all firearms on set as if they are real and loaded. They should never be pointed at anyone, “unless absolutely necessary to do so on camera.” And there were numerous levels of redundant safety checks on set that Gutierrez-Reed and Halls allegedly failed to undertake – including checking the bullets in the gun before it was brought on set.
Santa Fe authorities said they recovered a mix of dummy rounds, blanks and fully functional bullets from the set after the shooting.
Blank rounds have a distinct appearance – with a crimped or plugged tip where the bullet would go and no projectile. Dummies and actual rounds can appear identical or nearly identical, depending on the manufacturing process, but the difference is supposed to be obvious to anyone who picks one up and shakes it. Dummies are filled with metal balls instead of gunpowder.
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Prop masters and other armorers not connected to the movie have told Fox News Digital that the assistant director should not have been handling the firearm without going through proper safety checks with the armorer.
The criminal investigation remains ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.
Fox News’ Matteo Cina contributed to this report.