An affidavit released Sunday, Oct. 24, revealed that actor Alec Baldwin unknowingly discharged the prop gun with live rounds as he pointed it at the camera.
They were on the New Mexico set of ‘Rust’ on Oct. 21 and Baldwin received the loaded prop gun he was mistakenly told was emptied of live rounds.
The tragedy occurred as the 63-year-old Oscar-nominated actor rehearsed a scene that involved him drawing a revolver across his body and aiming it at the camera, Reuters reported from the affidavit.
A note obtained by the Los Angeles Times said the rehearsal was for a fire exchange scene in a church where Baldwin’s character was supposed to back out of the building.
As Baldwin pulled and fired the gun, a live bullet hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest, 42, and injured movie director Joel Souza’s shoulder.
According to the Times, Hutchins was standing behind a B-camera operator who was checking for potential shots, watching over his shoulder. Souza was behind her.
Hutchins was hit and couldn’t make it.
The Sunday affidavit confirmed the tragic moment in detail:
“Joel stated that they had Alec sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw,” it described. “Joel said he was looking over the shoulder of (Hutchins), when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop.”
“Joel then vaguely remembers (Hutchins) complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection. Joel also said (Hutchins) began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground,” the file added.
During her last moments, Hutchins told others she was losing the sense of feeling in her legs, cameraman Reid Russel told officials, per Reuters.
The Ukrainian cinematographer passed away leaving her husband and nine-year-old son behind. Her tragedy sounded an alarm to change safety protocols with lethal weapons being used in movie sets.
A probe into the event is still ongoing with no one yet charged for the horrific accident.
As some discussed whether Baldwin should be held accountable for the fatal misfire, others are also looking at the armorer in charge of the prop firearms and the assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin and mistakenly said it was safe.