Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records released on Friday show.
The assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot in the chest. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded, the records show.
The warrant was obtained Friday so that investigators could document the scene at the ranch where the shooting took place. It notes that Baldwin’s blood-stained costume for the Western film Rust was taken as evidence, as was the weapon that was fired.
Investigators also seized other prop guns and ammunition that were being used during the shooting of the film starring Baldwin.
Earlier in the day, Baldwin described the killing as a “tragic accident”. Baldwin was performing at the time of the shooting, the sheriff’s office said. It was unclear how many rounds were fired, and little was known about the weapon.
“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,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said detectives were at the set Friday morning gathering evidence and information.
No immediate charges were filed, and Baldwin is permitted to travel, he said.
“He’s a free man,” Rios said.
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