On Monday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office released all files associated with its ongoing investigation into the Rust shooting. Among the materials received by Yahoo Entertainment are crime scene photos and videos. Two videos handed over to police show Alec Baldwin rehearsing with a vintage Colt revolver, just moments before he fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
In the footage, Baldwin is seen sitting in a church pew rehearsing. He's dressed in Western garb and is looking down towards the ground. Near the end of the two-minute clip, he reaches his right hand into his jacket and draws the gun, pointing it to the camera.
Baldwin, who is facing a wrongful death lawsuit by Hutchins's widower, said during his ABC News interview that he did not pull the trigger. Baldwin explained that he and Hutchins were blocking out the scene and he only moved "at her direction."
"This was a marking rehearsal," Baldwin declared. "And [Hutchins] says to me, 'Hold the gun lower. Go to your right. OK, right there. All right, do that. Now show it a little bit lower.' And she's getting me to position the gun. … She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle."
The gun "ended up being aimed right below" Hutchins's armpit, according to Baldwin. The actor said he was told on set it was a "cold gun," meaning there was no live ammunition in the revolver. Among the newly released documents are interviews between Baldwin and police and he reiterated the same thing.
During an interview with Detective Hancock, Baldwin said that his finger had been on the trigger but that he did not pull it. Baldwin said that he had pulled the hammer of the gun about three-quarters of the way back and then let it go before it discharged.
Hutchins, 42, was killed when the revolver went off on Oct. 21. Director Joel Souza was also injured. During an interview with police at the hospital, Souza noted how the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, told Baldwin the gun was "cold" or "clean."
In a text message released by police, the film's propmaster, Sarah Zachry, told another Rust crew member that Gutierrez-Reed had wanted to use fake weapons on set, but Baldwin did not.
"Alec never liked anything fake, like guns and even the rubber knife," she wrote. "He always wanted the real knife, but eventually I gave him the rubber without him knowing. He always wanted his real gun."
Two days after the shooting, Zachry texted Baldwin: "I'm truly praying for you and hope you find some rest soon."
Baldwin replied, "You are lovely and kind." He later added, "This sheriff’s dept still will not tell me that I won't be charged [with] something."
Hutchins's widower, Matt, gave his own interview two months ago and told NBC News he was "just so angry" watching Baldwin's interview back in December. Baldwin talked "about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her."
"It almost sounds like he was the victim," Matt Hutchins told Hoda Kotb. "Hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it, I just feel like, are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?"
Baldwin said he feels "exonerated" after New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau released its report last week.
"We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter. We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds. Additionally, the report recognizes that Mr. Baldwin's authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting," a lawyer for the actor said in a statement. "Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau's findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues. We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy."
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