Actor Alec Baldwin, 64, had previously rehearsed with the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, during the filming of the movie Rust in October in New Mexico (United States). The soundless images released by the Santa Fe (New Mexico) sheriff’s office on Monday show Baldwin, dressed as the character he plays, sitting in a church pew on the day of the shooting when Hutchins died. In that rehearsal, Baldwin pulls the gun that killed Hutchins from an inside pocket of his jacket and aims in an angled shot twice.
The actor, who is also a producer on the film, has always claimed that he never pulled the trigger until filming the sequence in which the accident occurred. The material released by the sheriff’s office includes statements by Baldwin and other witnesses to investigators, rehearsals on the set, and text messages. Among the statements are those of the western’s director, Joel Souza, who was injured in the shoulder after the projectile went through Hutchins’ torso. Souza told an investigator the gun was unloaded.
One outstanding text message is from prop chief Sarah Zachry, in which she tells a crew member that Baldwin always preferred to use real guns because he didn’t like “fake guns or rubber knives.”
Meanwhile, the investigation by the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Santa Fe continues as it awaits further decisions. On April 20, the New Mexico Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Rust’s production company more than $135,000 for non-compliance with safety measures during the shooting.