How Alec Baldwin's deadly prop-gun shooting on the 'Rust' set unfolded, according to witnesses

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How Alec Baldwin's deadly prop-gun shooting on the 'Rust' set unfolded, according to witnesses
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
  • Police documents revealed eyewitness accounts of the deadly incident involving a prop gun on the set of Alec Baldwin's new movie, "Rust."
  • Director Joel Souza and cameraman Reid Russel described the shooting - which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchens - to police.

Eyewitness accounts from the set of "Rust" explain how the deadly shooting unfolded on set.

Director Joel Souza and cameraman Reid Russel both spoke with law enforcement after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on set, wounding Souza and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Souza described the day as getting off to a later start because members of the camera crew had walked out in protest that morning.

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The production needed to find new crew members for the shoot that day, Souza told police.

Souza explained that the shooting took place during a rehearsal, so no cameras were rolling. The scene was set in a church with Alec Baldwin sitting in a wooden pew.

According to Souza, the weapon Baldwin was practicing wasn't loaded.

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The team then broke for lunch. Upon return to the scene, Souza said he is unsure if the firearm was again checked for a live round.

According to a search warrant, assistant director Dave Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and yelled that it was a "cold gun," meaning there were no live rounds in the prop.

Baldwin returned to his pew where he was rehearsing his "cross draw" when Souza heard what he described as "a whip and then a loud pop."

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Hutchins then "began to stumble backwards" and grabbed her midsection, according to Souza. He then noticed blood on Hutchins and on himself, coming from his shoulder.

Russel's account of the morning matched that of Souza's, noting that he, too, was unsure if the firearm was checked for a live round after lunch.

While Baldwin was rehearsing, Russel said he heard a loud bang.

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Russel noticed blood on Souza and heard Hutchins saying that she "couldn't feel her legs," according to the search warrant.

A team of medics began to treat Hutchins on set. She later was taken to a nearby hospital but died of her injuries.

Russel said he wasn't sure why the gun was fired.

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He also noted that Baldwin was particularly careful while using prop guns on set. While filming an earlier scene, Baldwin double-checked to make sure no children were nearby before firing a gun.

No arrests have been made in the fatal incident.

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