Alec Baldwin was rehearsing 'pointing gun at the camera' before tragic shooting

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Alec Baldwin was reportedly 'practicing' with the gun on the New Mexico set of Rust when it went off, killing the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director Joel Souza.

New information about the incident has been detailed in search warrants executed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office and obtained by Yahoo.

Alec Baldwin on the movie set Rust
Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene where he pointed the gun at the camera. Photo: Instagram/Alec Baldwin

Joel Souza said they were setting up a shot that required Baldwin, who plays an outlaw in the film, to cross-draw the weapon and point it at the camera. While demonstrating what he would do, the gun, which wasn't supposed to be loaded, went off, the warrant states.

"Joel advised they returned back to the set after lunch, although he is not sure if the firearm was checked again," the document says. 

"Joel stated they had Alec sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw. Joel said he was looking over the shoulder of [Hutchins], when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop."

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Joel said Hutchins grabbed "her midsection" and "began to stumble backwards." She was "assisted to the ground" and an on-set medic was summoned. 

Joel said he was "bleeding from his shoulder and he could see blood on [Hutchins]."

Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins was airlifted to hospital but later died. Photo: Getty

Halyna Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died, while Joel Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe to be treated for a wound near his right shoulder and has since been released.

According to the warrant, Cameraman Reid Russell said the accidental shooting was not captured on camera because they were still setting up.

Chief electrician on the movie Serge Svetnoy also shared devastating details over Halyna’s last moments, including holding her in his arms "while she was dying".

He thanked cameraman Reid Russell, “who was with us and helped save Halyna” and the set medic, Cherlyn Schaefer, “who did everything she could to save Halyna’s life”.

Serge also shared what is believed to be the last photo with Halyna on set, showing Baldwin inside a small church, surrounded by wooden pews. Halyna can be seen among five other cast members scattered around the set. 

The gun Baldwin fired was handed to the actor with a live round loaded, according to a previous warrant from the ongoing police investigation.

Assistant director Dave Halls reportedly handed Baldwin the gun, telling him it was "cold" before he fired it.

According to TMZ multiple sources linked to the production have claimed the gun was used for 'target practice' and fired at off-the-clock gatherings. The publication also revealed the live ammunition and blank rounds were stored in the same area

alec baldwin
Alec was reportedly 'inconsolable for hours' after the incident. Photo: Getty

'Massive protocols' in place

Location Manager for Rust, Stacey Mickey-Evans, told 92.5 Triple M Gold Coast there were "massive protocols" in place to stop this from happening.

"It’s still hard to talk about," she said during an interview on Bridge, Spida & Flan.

"There are massive protocols to stop these things from happening, there are multiple checks.

"This was obviously a real weapon, and this particular weapon was supposed to be loaded with blanks and that is what everyone thought, and it was checked and double checked, and triple checked… supposedly. That obviously didn’t happen and somewhere along the lines it fell through the cracks.

"When we’re talking about something that is a deadly weapon, it’s a huge mistake and tragic."

This photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch one day after an incident
Crew had said there were 'massive protocols' in place. Photo: AAP

Stacey also revealed the crew almost went on strike only two weeks ago because of the unsafe working conditions.

“The strike was averted, and a small deal was made, but I think now with this particular instance with weapons on set… I mean we have CGI, we have green screen, we can do all of these things these days. Why do we actually have to have a weapon that is loaded on set with all of these people around? It is unnecessary, it is dangerous.”

Rust star calls Halyna Hutchins's death 'a tragedy'

Fellow Rust actor Jensen Ackles has also spoken out, sharing a post on Instagram in which he called Halyna Hutchins's death "a tragedy of epic proportions".

"I’m not even sure where to start," the Supernatural star, 43, began his post.

"Earlier last week I felt compelled to tell Halyna just how awesome I thought she was. I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and just how exciting it was to watch her and her team work. Truly. She laughed and said thank you and gave me a hug. I’ll forever be thankful we had that moment. She had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down."

"She was an inspiration.

"There just aren’t enough words to express what an immense loss this is," he continued. "She will be incredibly missed by all of us who knew and admired her."

Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria speaks out

Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria has taken to Instagram to express her heartbreak over Halyna Hutchins' death.

"My heart is with Halyna. Her husband. Her son. Their family and loved ones. And my Alec," she wrote.

"It's said 'there are no words' because it's impossible to express the shock and heartache of such a tragic accident. Heartbreak. Loss. Support." 

Hilaria - who has been married to Alec since 2012 - added in the caption: "Sending love to all. Holding you all in my heart."

Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria has taken to Instagram to express her heartbreak. Photo: Getty

Alec is "cancelling other projects" after the tragic incident in New Mexico, with the Hollywood star to "take some time to re-centre himself" following the incident. 

A source told People: "This was pretty devastating. This is how he handles difficult times. Whenever something bad happens, in the short term, he removes himself from [the] public eye."

Additional reporting by Suzy Byrne and Bang Showbiz.

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