Newly released body camera footage from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office shows the aftermath of the deadly “Rust” movie set shooting involving Alec Baldwin.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died in the Oct. 21 shooting on the New Mexico movie set and director Joel Souza was injured. Baldwin claims he was told the gun was not loaded and only held dummy rounds after a crew member yelled out “cold gun.” The fatal shooting is under investigation.
Body camera video from investigators provides new insight into the tragic shooting.
First interactions between Baldwin and police
The newly released body camera footage shows some of the first interactions between Baldwin and investigators following the shooting. Baldwin appears shaken yet calm during his encounters with officers.
In one of the body camera videos, a detective asks if Baldwin is OK, to which he replies, “No, I’m not, actually.”
Baldwin cooperated with police. They asked him to come to their station to answer questions.
“You tell me what to do,” Baldwin said.
Later, police spotted blood on Baldwin’s costume, though the actor said it was fake blood. Officers asked that he remain in his costume, and the actor complied.
“Please tell me she’s still alive”
Blurred police body camera footage shows director Joel Souza in a hospital bed after he was shot. Moments before doctors removed the bullet lodged in his shoulder, Souza told the officer what happened.
“The armorer handed the actor a gun,” Souza said, referring to armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Baldwin. “I don’t know if she said it was cold or clean, but she handed him a gun and there was a bang — a louder bang than I’ve heard come from a blank before.”
Souza also described the moment he realized he was hit.
“Very loud bang, felt like somebody kicked me in the shoulder,” Souza said. “Then I was down on my a** and I see the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, with blood coming out of her back.”
This all took place before Souza was told Hutchins died from her wound. He asked the officer if he knew if Hutchins was OK, but the officer didn’t. About 15 minutes later, while under the influence of medicine, Souza again asked about Hutchins:
Souza: Is Halyna still alive?
Female doctor: We’re going to have to find out in just a little bit, OK?
Souza: Please tell me she’s still alive.
Male doctor: I’m sure she’s fine. She’s just not here.
Souza: This is like a movie.
Female doctor: What’s your movie about Joel? The one you’re filming?
Souza: It’s called “Rust.”
Rehearsal video shows Baldwin handle gun
Police released clips from the film showing Baldwin remove a gun from his coat and point it just off-camera. It’s unclear if this is the same gun involved in the shooting, but it is not from the same day. Investigators and witnesses said the gun went off when rehearsing a similar scene.
Baldwin has said he did not pull the trigger and the gun fired on its own.
New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau recently fined the production $137,000 and found it was an assistant director, David Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin, not armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed. The report also found Halls knew of at least two instances when guns went off accidentally on set.
A spokesperson for “Rust” disputed that account, and said the fine would be appealed.
Body camera footage paints picture of set
The shooting happened on Bonanza Creek Ranch, a Santa Fe property depicting an old ranch along the New Mexico foothills. More than 120 films have been created there, dating back to the 1950s.
On the day of the shooting, the area was covered in yellow crime scene tape with evidence bags scattered on the ground. While talking to police, Baldwin mentioned that the crew had a separate campus to get ready at before traveling to this particular area with the old church where investigators say Baldwin pulled the trigger.
The new body camera footage shows evidence bags scattered on the ground. Authorities reported finding hundreds of rounds of ammunition on the set. Among them were reportedly a mix of dummy rounds, blanks and what seemed to be live rounds.
They believe there was “some complacency” in how guns were handled on the movie set. Souza described the gun that Baldwin handled in the old church as an “Old West six-shooter” sort of weapon.