Newly released footage shows the actor Alec Baldwin repeatedly practising drawing his revolver on the set of Rust on the same day a live round was discharged from the gun that killed the film’s cinematographer and injured its director.
Other footage includes the chaotic scenes shortly after the shooting, with officers trying to secure the scene – a church – after first treating the injured.
The release also contains police interviews with Baldwin and the film’s director, Joel Souza, who was being treated in hospital after also wounded during the incident on the Bonanza Creek ranch set near Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe county sheriff’s office released all files relating to its continuing investigation into the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western in October 2021 after media requests.
“Somebody put a live round in the gun,” Baldwin tells police in the footage. “If that’s a bullet that was pulled out of his shoulder, then someone loaded a live round into the gun I was holding.
“I rehearsed with a hot gun,” he said. “It was supposed to be cold or empty … This is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Souza is heard saying there was “a very loud bang” and describing the feeling of “being kicked in the shoulder”, and asking about Hutchins’ wellbeing. “I was down on my ass and I look over and see the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with blood coming out of her back,” he says in the footage.
The director also describes how the armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed had handed the weapon to Baldwin, saying it was “cold” or “clean”, meaning that it supposedly contained no live rounds. In the footage, Baldwin is seen in closeup, whipping the gun out of its holster and aiming it in front of him twice.
“There was a bang that was louder than I ever heard come from a blank before,” Souza tells officers. Other clips show officers arriving on the set of the film to conduct interviews with production crew members, and addressing Baldwin, who tells the officers he was the “person who had the gun in the scene”.
A recent report on the incident found the film’s production company “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set” and “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”.
Rust Movie Productions was fined $136,793 (£104,810), the maximum allowable by state law in New Mexico, after a six-month investigation by the state’s environment department.
Adan Mendoza, the Santa Fe county sheriff, said various components of the investigation “remain outstanding”, including FBI firearm and ballistic forensics as well as analysis of Baldwin’s phone data.
He added that the Rust investigation files include dashcam footage from officers, incident reports, crime scene photos, examination reports, witness interviews and photos collected throughout the course of this investigation.
Baldwin’s lawyers say the previously released report “exonerates” the actor as it showed he had “no authority over the matters that were the subject of the bureau’s findings of violations”, and that he had acted responsibly. “We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy,” they added.
The actor continues to fight a number of lawsuits stemming from the incident. Cases are being brought by the script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, the head of lighting, Serge Svetnoy, and Hutchins’ family.