The added part of the affidavit in the second search warrant raises its own questions. Writer-director Joel Souza and the camera man said the incident happened after lunch. Souza said that they “had to be shuttled to an area away from the set” to eat. Both Souza and Russel said that no film, video, or audio was being recorded because the scene was being prepared and set up. A camera crew of six had previously walked out because of “issues with production involving payment and housing”. Another camera crew was hired but had only one camera. Souza said the rehearsal “entailed Actor Alec Baldwin cross drawing his weapon and pointing the revolver towards the camera lens”.
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”.
In a kind of odd statement, Souza “advised they returned back to the set after lunch, although he is not sure if the firearm was checked again”. This implies that the gun was checked earlier. The camera man said that he had “stepped out for about 5 minutes after returning from lunch”. When he returned to the set, “Alec, Joel, and Halayna were already in possession of the firearm and had been preparing for the scene”, and he was “not sure that the firearm had been checked due to his absence of the five minutes”. The first part of the affidavit noted that the guns were on a cart outside the building. The camera man (Russel) further said that once Halyna was “on the ground, medics [plural] began to treat her injury as she was bleeding while on the floor ….”
Russel claimed that Baldwin had been “very careful”, and in an earlier scene had “made sure it was safe” and that a child was not nearby “when they were discharging a firearm during that scene”.
The gun is not described in the affidavits. A spent shell casing (singular) is mentioned, although Souza said “he was looking over the shoulder of Halayna, when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop”. The first part of the affidavit claims that: “Affiant later learned, the Assistant Director (Dave Halls) did not know live rounds [plural] were in the prop-gun, when he had given to [sic] the prop gun to the Actor Alec Baldwin”.
The affidavits indicate that only one shot was fired and it caused all the wounds, but that is not completely clear. One shot certainly could pass through Halyna and hit Souza in the shoulder. The affidavits do not say how far Baldwin was from the camera.
My father’s old but very functional shotgun in the photo at the top is an old single shot and has stamped on the side the words, “Victor Ejector” and “American Gun Co New York”. You use your thumb to cock the hammer back. You cannot cock the gun and pull the somewhat stiff trigger by accident.
Traditionally, an affidavit supporting a search warrant contains only enough information to justify issuing the warrant and does not include extensive detail. The standard requirement is similar around the country. In Texas, the wording is: “No search warrant shall issue for any purpose in this state unless sufficient facts are first presented to satisfy the issuing magistrate that probable cause does in fact exist for its issuance. A sworn affidavit setting forth substantial facts establishing probable cause shall be filed in every instance in which a search warrant is requested”.
Whether the affidavits are legally sufficient to show probable cause is an issue about which I will not express an opinion.
A woman is dead from trauma by a gunshot. It is obviously essential that the investigatory process, reports, and official documents be coherent.
You can read the search warrants by displaying or downloading them. In the past a document that was uploaded could not be displayed after a short time. But these do at least right now.
15,429 total views, 8 views today