Two search warrants are disclosed in the Alec Baldwin movie set shooting case

My father’s old single-action, 20 guage shotgun, used more recently to eliminate rattlesnakes.

By Robert Willmann

Here are the two search warrants with supporting affidavits from the Santa Fe Magistrate Court that were issued on Friday, 22 October 2021, about the shooting by Alec Baldwin the day before on the set of the movie “Rust” in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. The first one was prepared on Thursday the twenty-first, the day of the incident, as indicated in the notation of an Assistant District Attorney. It was signed at 7:20 a.m. on 22 October and then executed. The second one was prepared and signed at 6:09 p.m. the same day.

The warrants are identical in some parts, with the first one listing six categories of items to be seized, and the second one listing those six plus six more. The supporting affidavit for the first warrant describes information obtained on Thursday, 21 October, the day of the shooting incident. The affidavit for the second warrant repeats the information in the first warrant, and adds more from an interview starting at 1:00 p.m. on 22 October with writer-director Joel Souza, who was shot in the shoulder. In addition, the second affidavit contains some information from an interview with a camera man, Reid Russel, “who was standing next to Joel and Halayna at the time of the shooting” [Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was killed by a gunshot during the incident].

The shooting took place in a building designed as a church on the movie set. According to the identical first part of the affidavits, three so-called “prop guns” on a cart outside the building were “set up” by Hannah Gutierrez (Gutierrez-Reed), who had the grandiose title of “armorer”. Dave Halls, the assistant director, got one of the three guns and took it to Baldwin, who was inside the building, and Halls supposedly said “cold gun” as he handed it to Baldwin. The term cold gun is said to mean a gun that does not contain any live bullets. The affidavit further claims that “Halls did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun”, when he gave it to Baldwin. After the gun was fired, Baldwin gave it to Hannah and she took the spent shell casing out of the gun. When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, she gave the gun to the deputies. The affidavit is silent about whether she gave them the spent casing. The deputies also took possession of “additional prop-ammunition”.

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10 Responses to Two search warrants are disclosed in the Alec Baldwin movie set shooting case

  1. RZ says:

    I feel sorry for almost all concerned, the DOP who died, her husband and child, the young and inexperienced woman out of her depth with the job of armourer, the AD, know doubt hired for his drive to get shit done on a limited budget. Who does that leave, a money grubbing asshat who hired them on the cheap to increase his wealth and reputation but I guess he has enough friends and money to escape the consequences. And so it goes.

  2. Pat Lang says:

    “Souza further said the firearms are “checked” by Hannah, and then are “checked” by the assistant director Dave Halls, who “then gives it to the Actor using the firearm”. And that: “The only thing checked are the firearms to avoid live ammunition being in them”.” Somebody is lying.

    • TTG says:

      Souza described how it is supposed to work. It obviously didn’t work that way this time, unless there was real malevolence involved.

      • Rob Waddell says:

        Tragic as this case is, I wouldn’t call it malevolence just yet.
        I would say its a combination of incompetence, laziness, non-compliance right through to greed and stupidity.

        To keep things in perspective, 175 workers were killed in the USA between January and June in 2021. That’s just the number where OSHA citations were issued i.e. fault attributed to procedures etc. Not much wailing for those poor souls, many who would have friends, families and children.

        Now revolver experts; re the damned handgun used in this fatality. If a single cartridge is in the firing position (12 o’clock) of the chamber, would this be invisible to the viewer on cursory inspection? To do a proper check would not the chamber need to be rotated otherwise the revolver would appear to be empty.
        I know that sounds very simplistic but.. incompetence, laziness etc..

        • Pat Lang says:

          rob Waddell

          With most revolvers you would put the pistol on half cock and the rotate the cylinder while looking at the muzzle end of the cylinder. If there is a bullet in one or more chambers it will be visible. Do not point the muzzle at yourself while doing this. C’mon man.

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    As “prop gun” = “firearm”, at least in this case, I still don’t see how the guy that pulled the trigger can avoid culpability – regardless of the chain of f’ups. People who handle guns must abide by the safety rules Larry set out in his recent post. Actors are people. If Baldwin had followed the rules no one would be dead. You don’t just take someone’s word for it that a gun is “cold”, point it at someone and pull the trigger.

  4. Fred says:

    The first search warrant states they left the firearms on a cart “due to Covid restrictions”. Who was attending the cart with the weapons the whole time, if anybody, remains to be seen.

  5. cofer says:

    Strange, in all the reporting I’ve seen so far, none stressed the fact that normally firearms used in production, those that are rented from a prop house or the armour’s own stock, are modified and incapable of shooting live ammunition. The barrel of these weapons have a plug inserted in it with a small opening for the gases to escape. These are still very dangerous and the crew must follow many safety rules. A producer can save a few pennies by renting an unmodified gun but the risk is too high.
    It is customary to rent a toy gun for use in rehearsals and for the purpose of lining a shot. The assistant director will hand the functioning gun to the actor only when the camera is ready to roll and all personnel are secure.
    Labour dispute, angry crew and angry union, I have a sleeping suspicion that this might have been a sabotage.

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