A search warrant affidavit has revealed heartbreaking new details regarding the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set.
On Thursday, authorities responded to an incident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set around 1:50 p.m. local time following 911 call indicating “an individual had been shot on set,” the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department wrote in a press release obtained by PEOPLE.
Upon further investigation, the sheriff's department learned that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin. Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died from her injuries, according to the sheriff's department. Souza, 48, was hospitalized, but his reps told Deadline he has since been released.
In the affidavit, obtained by PEOPLE and submitted Friday to the New Mexico court, a sheriff's detective detailed what Souza and cameraman Reid Russell said was happening around the set leading up to and following the tragic accident.
Both said that the original camera crew on the film had recently quit, making the day somewhat delayed as the production had to find a new crew. Russell told police that the original crew's departure was over issues involving payment and housing.
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Before the shooting, Souza told police they had taken a break for lunch. When they returned from lunch to continue rehearsing, he indicated that he was not sure if the gun in the scene had been checked again.
According to the affidavit, he said that, to his knowledge, all firearms on set were checked by armorer Hannah Gutierrez and then by assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun off to the actor — Baldwin in this case.
Per the affidavit, Halls yelled “cold gun” before the firearm was handed to Baldwin, indicating that there were no live rounds in the gun.
When he was given the firearm, Baldwin, 63, was practicing a cross-draw and sitting in a pew in the church on set, according to what Souza told police. Souza said he was standing behind Hutchins when he “heard what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop,” the affidavit states.
Jim Spellman/Getty Joel Souza
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He told police he remembered Hutchins “complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection” before she “began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground.”
Souza “explained that he was bleeding from his shoulder and he could see blood on Halyna,” while Russell “remembered Joel having blood on his person and [Hutchins] speaking and saying she couldn't feel her legs.”
Souza said the incident wasn't filmed, because they were just working on setting up the camera for the scene.
Russell also shared with police that Baldwin “had been very careful” with the firearms on set, recalling that the actor “had made sure it was safe and that a child wasn't near him when they were discharging a firearm” during a previous scene, the affidavit states.
Jim Spellman/Getty; Fred Hayes/Getty
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Baldwin first spoke out regarding the incident on Friday morning, writing on Twitter, “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 to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family,” he continued. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
“I am not going to be able to comment about the facts or the process of what we're going through right now, but I appreciate that everyone has been very sympathetic,” added Matthew, who has an 8-year-old son he shared with the late cinematographer. “I think that we will need a little bit of time before we can really encapsulate her life in a way that is easy to communicate.”Internet Explorer Channel Network