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Assistant director yelled 'cold gun' before handing pistol to Alec Baldwin, police say

By Danielle Haynes   |   Oct. 23, 2021 at 10:03 AM
Alec Baldwin told police he wasn't aware a prop gun was loaded with a live bullet before he fired it, killing a cinematographer. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI Halyna Hutchins, director of photography on "Rust," was killed when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on set. Photo by Halyna Hutchins/Instagram

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- An assistant director on the film Rust said that the gun that killed a cinematographer and injured a director on the New Mexico set was unloaded before he handed it to actor Alec Baldwin, a police affidavit indicates.

The court document, filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on Friday, said the assistant director, David Halls, took the prop gun, a pistol, from a gray cart and gave it to Baldwin. He shouted out "cold gun" as he did so, indicating the pistol didn't contain any live rounds.

The gun handed to Baldwin was one of three prop guns on the cart, which was prepared by armorer Hannah Gutierrez. Baldwin, Gutierrez and Halls each told told police they weren't aware the gun contained any live rounds.

When Baldwin fired the gun Thursday on set, it fatally shot director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The latter received treatment at a local hospital before being released Thursday.

The affidavit, viewed by The New York Times, the Santa Fe New Mexican and KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., indicated Hutchins sustained a gunshot wound to the chest. Souza, who was standing behind the cinematographer, was injured in the shoulder.

The affidavit sought a search warrant for the movie set, which a state magistrate judge granted Friday. A representative for the sheriff's office said Baldwin has cooperated with the investigation and no charges have been filed.

A local chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union that represents propmasters, said in an email Friday that the prop gun contained a real bullet. The sheriff's office, though, said it couldn't confirm what the gun was loaded with.

Baldwin issued a statement Friday offering condolences for Hutchins' death.

"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," he wrote.

"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. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."