Court records released on Friday said that an assistant director on the film had declared the gun empty before it was handed to Alec Baldwin before he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza:
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Warrant: Before fatal shooting, Alec Baldwin was handed loaded gun on film set by director who was unaware it was loaded.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 22, 2021
According to the AP, the gun was loaded with “live rounds” and Souza was standing behind Hutchins at the time:
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.
— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) October 22, 2021
From the AP:
A search warrant filed in Santa Fe, Mexico, court said the assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot in the chest. Director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded.
According to the New York Times, this assistant director grabbed the gun off of a cart and shouted, “Cold gun!” before handing it to Baldwin:
Affidavit: The assistant director a prop pistol from a gray cart and handed it to the movie’s star, Alec Baldwin, shouting “cold gun!” — which was supposed to indicate that it did not contain any live rounds, and was safe to handle. https://t.co/jGSYwLn9LT
— Patrick LaForge (@palafo) October 22, 2021
But we still have no idea how live rounds, if that is what happened, were in the gun in the first place:
While the five-page filing provides many basic logistical details of the shooting, it leaves many questions unanswered — namely how a live round ended up in a gun fired by an actor.
Separately, The Wrap reported that Baldwin could face an involuntary manslaughter charge if prosecutors determine he “is found to be reckless in his handling of the weapon”:
In the worst case, legal experts tell TheWrap that Baldwin could face an involuntary manslaughter charge if he is found to be reckless in his handling of the weapon — like if he fired the gun even after being warned against doing so.
— Sharon Waxman (@sharonwaxman) October 22, 2021