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Almost two months after an incident on the set of Rust led to the death of its cinematographer and injured its director, authorities have obtained a search warrant to Alec Baldwin’s phone as part of their investigation.
In a Santa Fe police search warrant obtained by The Daily Beast, investigators asked for the “seizure and search of Alec Baldwin’s cell phone to search for any evidence relating to the death investigation of Halyna Hutchins,” the film’s cinematographer.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted from the set of Rust—which began filming at Bonanza Creek Ranch south of Santa Fe in October—to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, after being hit by a prop gun that Baldwin was holding for a scene. She later died at the hospital. Joel Souza, 48, was also hit, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, but was later released.
Baldwin has repeatedly stated that he assumed the gun he was using for a scene did not contain live rounds—and has since insisted he did not even pull the trigger.
“Affiant believes there may be evidence on the phone, due to individuals using cellular phones during and/or after the commission of crime[s],” Det. Alexandria Hancock said in the search warrant. “Such information, if it exists, maybe material and relevant to this investigation. Affiant was also made aware there were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production Rust in the course of interviews.”
The warrant also notes that Baldwin was asked to voluntarily turn over his electronic device—and responded that authorities would have to get a warrant.
Baldwin’s cell phone, according to the warrant, is crucial to gain a full picture of what happened on Oct. 21—and the days leading up to the deadly incident.
In an interview with Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on the film said that she was the one who brought the firearms out to set with a colleague.
“Hannah said while on set, she ‘dummied the guns with the dummy rounds,’” the warrant states. While the gun ultimately exchanged hands with several people, they were ultimately checked on set before they were given to Baldwin for the scene.
The warrant also details an interview Baldwin had with police shortly after the deadly incident. In the interview, Baldwin told authorities the firearm was supposed to be a “cold gun” and that “all the rounds in the gun were supposed to be cosmetic or ‘dummy’ rounds.”
“Alec advised when the gun went off, he could recall Halyna [Hutchins] going down to the ground, and Joel [Souza] start to scream,” the warrant states. “Alec said since they were in rehearsal, he assumed he had an empty gun, therefore when he shot the gun, Halyna was right in front of them.”
When describing the gun he used, Baldwin told police he exchanged emails with Reed about the type of “period” firearm that would be used on set prior to filming.
“He said he requested a bigger gun, and she also showed him different styles of knives for the production,” the affidavit states, noting that Baldwin had requested a Colt .45 for the film, “Alec was shown a Colt with a brown handle, and a cherry handle, and he ultimately chose the one with the brown handle.”
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