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NEWS & ANALYSIS

‘Rust’ Director, Crew Member Express Uncertainty Over Safety Check of Gun that Killed Director of Photography


A new affidavit released Sunday provides a closer look into the final moments leading up to the shooting on the set of “Rust” last week, which left one dead and one injured.  

According to the affidavit, Alec Baldwin practiced pulling a revolver from his holster, demonstrating to the director how he planned to reach across his body, pull out the gun and point it at the camera, per the Wall Street Journal

On the final reach for the gun, director Joel Souza said he heard a whipping noise, then a loud pop, according to the affidavit prepared and released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Halyna Hutchins grabbed her abdomen and stumbled backward. Souza said he vaguely remembered. 

Souza and other crew members said they weren’t positive that the gun was checked for safety after a break. Additionally, per the affidavit, the crew was short-staffed and running behind schedule. 

Souza said the production crew took a lunch break around 12:30 p.m., and he wasn’t sure if the gun was checked for safety upon return to set. 

Red Russell, a crew member, was setting up the camera while Baldwin was explaining how he planned to retrieve the gun. After returning from lunch, Russell said he had stepped out briefly. He said he wasn’t sure if the gun had been checked because of his absence. He added that Baldwin had been “very careful” when it came to handling firearms. 

As previously reported by Human Events News, Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of a Western film he was making in New Mexico on Thursday, leaving the film’s director of photography dead and the director injured. 

The cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was killed and the director, Joel Souza, was injured on set.

“We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” Juan Rios, spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, said. 

He said the shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch happened in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed. 

Investigators are still working to figure out how the gun was discharged and what type of projectile was released, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators have been seeking video recordings, computers, firearms and costumes, among other things.