Alec Baldwin speaks to reporters for first time since fatal film set shooting

New Mexico News

Hamptons International Film Festival Chairman, Alec Baldwin attends the World Premiere of National Geographic Documentary Films’ ‘The First Wave’ at Hamptons International Film Festival on October 07, 2021 in New York. (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Alec Baldwin finally spoke to reporters after he discharged a prop gun on a New Mexico movie set, killing a cinematographer. “She was my friend. She was my friend. The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting, I took her to dinner with Joel, the director,” Baldwin said.

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Baldwin spoke to photographers in Vermont Saturday, more than a week after he accidentally fired a gun while rehearsing a scene for his film “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. The shooting killed Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins and injured Director Joel Souza.

“I am not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation. I have been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe, I can not answer any questions about the investigation,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin expressed sadness about the incident but said he could not comment because the investigation is ongoing. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said this past week that investigators found live rounds on the set and the gun was not properly checked before Baldwin fired it.

However, Baldwin said the production had a “very well-oiled crew” before the shooting happened. Baldwin also said he has spoken with Hutchins’ family, including her husband. “The guy is overwhelmed with grief. There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion. And he is in shock – he has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him because we are worried about him and his kid,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for the film more than a week ago when Assistant Director David Halls handed him a gun. Authorities say Halls announced it was a “cold gun,” indicating it was safe. But when the round fired, investigators say Hutchins and Souza were hit with a lead projectile.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says they seized 500 blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds on the set and the prop gun was not properly checked before Halls gave Baldwin the gun.

Investigators have not ruled out charges in the case. On Friday, the armorer on the production, Hannah Gutierrez-Redd, issued a statement through her attorney saying she has no idea how live rounds got on the set.

Baldwin wouldn’t say whether he would ever work on a movie set with firearms again, but he says the incident has opened his eyes about safety in the film industry. “It’s urgent, you understand, that I’m not an expert in this field. So whatever other people decide is the best way to go in terms of protecting people on film sets, I’m all in favor of and I will cooperate with that in any way that I can,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin doubts production on Rust will resume any time soon.

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