Baldwin was told that gun was cold before filming on movie sets

As actors and film crews dressed in Western attire prepared to practice a scene in a chapel-like wooden building on a desert ranch outside Santa Fe for their movie, Dave Halls, assistant director, stepped out and pulled a gun from a cart.

Baldwin was told that gun was cold before filming on movie sets

He returned to the set and gave it to Alec Baldwin, the film's star. Baldwin assured him that it was safe because it did not contain live ammunition.

Halls shouted, "Cold gun!"

According to court records, it wasn't. Baldwin instead killed Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer, and injured Joel Souza (director), who was standing by her.

This tragedy occurred nearly three decades after Brandon Lee died in a similar incident. It prompted horrified questions as to how it could have happened again. The executive producer of ABC's "The Rookie," a police drama, announced Friday that the show would not use "live" weapons as the safety of its cast and crew was too important.

Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office filed a search warrant application to include details of the shooting at Bonanza Creek Road. Investigators wanted to inspect Baldwin's blood-stained costume in "Rust" and other prop guns, ammunition, and any footage.

According to records, the gun was one of three guns Hannah Gutierrez (film's armorer) had placed on a cart outside the building in which a scene was being performed. Halls took the gun from the cart, and brought it into Baldwin. He was not aware that the gun had live rounds inside, as a detective wrote in his search warrant application.

It is not known how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez took out a shell casing and turned it over to police upon arrival, according to court records.

Halls did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment. Gutierrez was not reached by The Associated Press. Several messages were also sent to production companies that are associated with the film, but they weren't immediately returned Friday.

Mamie Mitchell, the film's script supervisor, stated that she was standing right next to Hutchins during filming.

Mitchell said that she ran to 911 and told them, "Bring everyone, send everybody." Mitchell said that the woman was gone from her first day of work. She was an exceptional, rare, and very rare woman."

Mitchell stated that Mitchell and other crew members were attending a private service in Santa Fe on Friday night.

Baldwin called the killing a "tragic accident."

"There are no words that can express my sadness and shock at the tragic accident that claimed the life of Halyna Houtchins, a wife and mother, and a colleague who we deeply admire," Baldwin wrote on Twitter. Baldwin posted on Twitter that she was fully cooperating in the police investigation. "My heart breaks for her husband and their son and all those who loved Halyna."

Juan Rios, sheriff's spokesperson, said that Baldwin was allowed to travel and no charges were immediately filed.

"He's a free man," Rios said.

Images of the 63 year-old actor were captured outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday.

Sometimes, guns used for movies can be real weapons. They can fire bullets or blanks. Blanks are gunpowder charges which produce a flash and bang but no deadly projectile. Blanks can even eject hot gasses and paper from their barrels, which can prove to be deadly at close range. This was the case with the 1984 death of an actor.

Lee was also killed in an on-set incident in 1993 when a bullet was accidentally left in a prop pistol. Similar shootings have also occurred with stage weapons loaded with live rounds during historical Re-enactments.

Steven Hall, a British veteran director of photography, stated that gun-safety protocols on American sets have improved in recent years. He said that the most dangerous position to be in was behind the camera, as this person is often in the line-of-fire in scenes in which an actor seems to point a gun at an audience member.

Rios stated that Sheriff's Deputies arrived at Bonanza Creek Ranch to assist with the film set. Rios had received 911 calls describing a shooting. It has been featured in numerous films, including the Tom Hanks Western "News of the World".

Gutierrez, the film’s armorer, spoke out in September to Arizona-based Voices of the West. She said that she just finished her first movie as the head armourer. This was a Montana project starring Nicholas Cage, called "The Old Way".

She said, "I was nervous at first, and almost turned down the job because it was too risky, but it was actually really easy."

According to his IMDB profile, Gutierrez was the daughter of Thell, a fast-drawing exhibition shooter and gun coach who worked with stars on films like Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead. Gutierrez stated that she grew up with guns and that her father had taught her a bit about firearms.

Hutchins (42), was the director of photography for 2020's action film "Archenemy", starring Joe Manganiello. Hutchins, a 2015 American Film Institute graduate, was named "rising star" in 2019 by American Cinematographer.

"I feel so sorry for Halyna. Adam Egypt Mortimer, director of Archenemy, tweeted that he was "so sad" about losing Halyna. "She was a talented talent, who was completely committed to art as well as film."

Manganiello referred to Hutchins as "an amazing talent" and "a wonderful person" via his Instagram account. He stated that he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her.

Production was stopped on "Rust" after the shooting. The story is about a 13 year-old boy left with no parents following the 1880s Kansas death of his parents. According to the Internet Movie Database website, the movie's plot centers around a young boy who must take care of his younger brother and himself. After being sentenced for the murder of a local rancher, the teen runs away with Baldwin's grandfather.

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