Alec Baldwin Was Practicing Drawing a Gun When Weapon Discharged, Killing Halyna Hutchins: Police

Rust director Joel Souza and cameraman Reid Russell both told authorities that audio and video from the incident was not filmed at the time of the occurrence

Alec Baldwin attends the World Premiere of National Geographic Documentary Films' 'The First Wave' at Hamptons International Film Festival on October 07, 2021 in East Hampton, New York.
Alec Baldwin . Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty

Alec Baldwin was practicing drawing a gun on the set of the film Rust when the revolver fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, according to an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

In the affidavit, submitted Friday to the New Mexico court, a sheriff's detective detailed what Souza and cameraman Reid Russell said was happening around the set leading up to and following the tragic accident.

Souza, 48, told police that Baldwin, 63, was "sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw."

A cross draw, according to CNN, is when a gunman removes a weapon from a holster situated on the opposite side of their body.

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While Baldwin was rehearsing for the scene, Souza "was looking over the shoulder of [Hutchins], when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop," according to the affidavit.

He told police he remembered Hutchins "complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection" before she "began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground."

Halyna Hutchins, Alec Baldwin and director Joel Souza
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Souza "explained that he was bleeding from his shoulder and he could see blood on Halyna," while Russell "remembered Joel having blood on his person and [Hutchins] speaking and saying she couldn't feel her legs."

Souza said the incident wasn't filmed, because they were just working on setting up the camera for the scene.

Russell also told with police that Baldwin "had been very careful" with the firearms on set, recalling that the actor "had made sure it was safe and that a child wasn't near him when they were discharging a firearm" during a previous scene, the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, he said that, to his knowledge, all firearms on set were checked by armorer Hannah Gutierrez and then by assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun off to the actor — Baldwin in this case.

Per the affidavit, Halls yelled "cold gun" before the firearm was handed to Baldwin, indicating that there were no live rounds in the gun.

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Last week, authorities responded to the incident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of Rust around 1:50 p.m. local time, following 911 calls indicating "an individual had been shot on set," the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department wrote in a press release obtained by PEOPLE.

Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died from her injuries, according to the sheriff's department. Souza was hospitalized and has since been released. So far, no charges have been filed and an investigation remains ongoing.

In the wake of the tragedy, a source previously told PEOPLE that "Alec is still trying to get his head around everything that happened. This has been devastating. It's been incredibly difficult." The actor has also canceled other projects following the accidental shooting, the source added.

Baldwin spoke out regarding the incident on Friday morning, issuing a two-part statement on Twitter: "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," he said. "I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

The Rust film set has been shut down following Hutchins' death, with production indefinitely paused, according to the production company, Rust Movie Productions, LLC.

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