Alec Baldwin was told the prop gun he was using while filming the Western Rust was safe.
According to an affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County’s Sheriff’s Office obtained by the Associated Press and The New York Times, an assistant director unintentionally handed the actor the weapon and told him it was safe to use. On Thursday, Alec discharged a prop gun on the set of his movie, Rust, which led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, who has since been released from the hospital.
Per the search warrant, the assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds. It also notes that the weapon that was fired and Baldwin's wardrobe, which was blood-stained, were taken as evidence. Other prop guns and ammunition and any footage that might exist were also confiscated, AP reports. It was unclear how many rounds were fired.
Rust reportedly had a series of problems before Hutchins' tragic death and Souza's injury.
Multiple reports noted that prior to the fatal shooting, many union crew members walked off set in protest of "poor" working conditions. There had also been at least one incident of a prop gun misfiring on the Rust set prior to the fatal accident and director Joel Souza being shot, Deadline reported.
"The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down," Rust Movie Productions, LLC said in a statement to ET on Friday. "We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."
The Sheriff’s Department in Sante Fe, New Mexico, confirmed to ET on Thursday evening that Alec Baldwin was the one who fired the prop gun which led to the fatal accident.
"This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."
On Friday, Baldwin took to Instagram to address the on-set incident, expressing that "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 noted that he's "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."
Master Armorer Mike Tristano told ET, "It's unheard of to have something like this happen."
"To have a director of photography killed by an actor using a firearm on set, it's unheard of. And I've done over 600 films and TV shows, you can look me up, and we've never had anything like this happen on set, not even remotely," he expressed. "A gun should never have been loaded and given to an actor during rehearsal, loaded with anything, never mind a real, I don't know how a live round, if it was a live round."
For more on the tragic incident, see below.