The shot that killed a cinematographer on a film set in New Mexico last week was fired as actor AlecBaldwin was practicing to draw his gun, according to the director who was injured during the shooting. the shooting, according to court documents.
Joel Souza, director of the film “Rust”, was shot in the shoulder and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed when the propeller pistol exploded during a rehearsal at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe Thursday.
Souza spoke to investigators on Friday, according to an affidavit for a search warrant issued Sunday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
Souza told them that Baldwin was “sitting on a bench in a church building and practicing a cross-draw,” the affidavit said. A cross draw occurs when a shooter pulls the gun out of a holster on the opposite side of the body from the shooting hand.
Souza was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder “when he heard what sounded like a whip, then a loud noise,” according to the affidavit.
Souza recalled Hutchins “complaining about his stomach and grabbing his midsection” after the shot, according to the document.
Investigators also spoke to cameraman Reid Russell, who was standing next to Souza and Hutchins at the time of the incident, according to the affidavit.
Russell recalled that Hutchins “said she couldn’t feel her legs” and that doctors were treating her as she bled on the floor, investigators said.
Souza and Russell both acknowledged difficulties on set that day due to some members of the Camera Department being walked out for payment and housing. Due to manpower issues, Souza said they only had one camera available that day and was not recording at the time of the incident.
Souza also confirmed to an investigator that he heard the term “cold weapon” on the set, meaning the gun should have been empty.
According to the warrant, Souza said three people handled the guns or firearms for scenes where they were verified by the gunsmith and first assistant director and then handed over to the actor who used them.
The investigator said Souza was not aware of anyone on set being checked to see if they had live ammunition on them before or after the scenes were filmed.
“The only thing checked are the guns to prevent live ammunition from there. Joel (Souza) said there should never be any live ammunition near or around the scene,” said affidavit.
Representatives for Souza did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
According to the affidavit, Russell told investigators that Baldwin “was trying to explain how he was going to get the gun out and where his arm would be when the gun was out of the holster.”
Russell “didn’t know why the gun was unloaded and just remembered the gun’s loud bang,” the affidavit states.
When asked how Baldwin handled the gun, Russell told investigators the actor “was very careful” and recalled an earlier instance where Baldwin “made sure that she was safe and a child was not near her when they were discharging a gun during this scene. “
The search warrant was aimed at recovering images, video cameras, computer equipment and memory cards used by cameras on the set.
No charges were laid in the incident. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said it would discuss the case further at a press conference on Wednesday.
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