The full story of the murder of the director of photography for “Rust” by Alec Baldwin


As the film’s technicians, and actors dressed in American Westerns, prepared to rehearse a scene inside a chapel-shaped wooden building on a desert movie farm outside Santa Fe, assistant director Dave Holz walked outside and took a rifle from a wagon.

He went back inside and handed the gun to the movie’s star, Alec Baldwin, assuring him that it was safe to use, because it was not loaded with live ammunition, shouting “cool gun”.

That was not the case, according to court records made public Friday. When Baldwin pulled the trigger during scene rehearsal Thursday, he killed cinematographer Helena Hutchins and wounded director Joel Sousa, who was standing behind her.

The tragedy occurred nearly three decades after the death of Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, in a similar accident, and raised terrifying questions about how it could happen again. The executive producer of ABC’s police drama “The Rookie” announced Friday that the show will no longer use “live” weapons because “the safety of the cast and cast is extremely important.”

Details of the shooting at the ranch on Bonanza Creek Road were contained in a search warrant request filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico, as detectives were seeking to examine the bloodstained costume of Baldwin’s “Rust” character, as well as the weapon from which he fired. and other film guns and ammunition, and any footage that may be available.

The rifle was one of three that the film’s gunman, Hana Gutierrez, had put on a cart outside the building where the scene was being played, according to records. Holz took the rifle from the wagon and handed it to Baldwin, not knowing that it was loaded with live ammunition, one investigator wrote.

It was not clear how many shots were fired. Court records said Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting and handed the weapon to police upon arrival.

The Associated Press noted that Hills did not immediately respond to phone messages and emails seeking comment. The agency was unable to contact Gutierrez, and several messages sent to the film’s production companies were not immediately answered on Friday.

The film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, said she was standing next to Hutchins when he shot her.

“I ran and called 911 and said get everyone, send everyone,” Mitchell told the Associated Press. “This woman left early in her career. She was an extraordinary woman, very extraordinary.”

Mitchell said she and other crew members were attending a private memorial service Friday night in Santa Fe.

Baldwin described the killing as “tragic”.

“There are no words to express my shock and sadness at the tragic accident that took the life of Helena Hutchins, our deeply admired wife, mother and colleague. I am fully cooperating with the police investigation,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter, adding, “My heart is broken for her husband, her son, and everyone who knew.” Helena and I love her.”

Authorities did not file immediate charges, and a spokesman for Mayor Juan Rios said Baldwin had been allowed to travel, “he’s a free man.”

Pictures of the 63-year-old actor – known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and for impersonating former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” – ​​showed him stunned outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday.

Helena Hutchins, a resident of Los Angeles, was considered a rising star in American cinema, and she was born in Ukraine and grew up in a Soviet military base located in the Arctic Circle, according to her website.

In a statement sent to AFP, a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the Ukrainian consulate in San Francisco was working with the police to clarify the circumstances of what happened.

The weapons used in filmmaking are sometimes real weapons that can fire live or chelated bullets, the latter being charges of gunpowder that flash and bang, but not a deadly projectile. Even claw weapons can eject hot gases and paper or plastic inserts from the barrel, which can be deadly at close range. This was proved by the death of an actor in 1984.


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