The New York Times reported Friday that actor Alec Baldwin was told by an assistant director that the gun he was using as a prop while filming a scene in New Mexico this week was “cold,” or unloaded. But when he pulled the trigger, the film’s cinematographer was shot dead.
Forty-two-year-old Halyna Hutchins was struck in the chest by a “live projectile” and later pronounced dead at a local hospital, the Times reported.
The film’s director, Joel Souza, was standing behind Hutchins and was also hit, but has since been discharged from the hospital.
“My heart is broken”
The latest development in the case comes via an affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, which was seeking a search warrant in New Mexico court on Friday.
According to the Associated Press, “[a]s a film crew and actors in Western garb prepared to rehearse a scene inside a wooden, chapel-like building on a desert movie ranch outside Santa Fe, assistant director Dave Halls stepped outside and grabbed a prop gun off a cart.”
“He walked back in and handed it to the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, assuring him it was safe to use because it didn’t have live ammo,” the AP reported. Halls reportedly shouted: “Cold gun!”
It remains unclear how many shots were fired Thursday in what Baldwin has since characterized as a “tragic accident.”
“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. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,” the actor said in a tweet, according to the AP. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
According to Fox News, no charges have been filed in the incident.
The sheriff’s office told Fox that “investigators are attempting to determine what type of projectile was in the firearm” when it was shot.
The movie company is also said to be conducting an investigation.
As a result of the tragedy, production of the movie, entitled Rust, has been halted indefinitely.