It’s easier to watch knowing that the gun will not go off. Not this time. But it will happen later.
Alec Baldwin will be sitting in the same position, in the same ramshackle church, on the set of the Western drama Rust. He will yank the revolver from its holster and pull back the hammer. The gun, inexplicably loaded with a live round, will then go off—striking director Joel Souza in the shoulder, and slamming into the chest of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, killing her not long after.
That fatal moment doesn’t happen in this rehearsal. But still, the soundless video clip shows the scene was being filmed when the unthinkable happened moments later.
The footage above is material gathered by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department last October after the shooting incident that stunned the world and made Hollywood rethink its handling of firearms. Hours of video, ranging from detective interviews to the body cam footage of first responders, was released to the public Monday, although key evidence—such as an FBI forensic report on the gun and ammunition and an analysis of Baldwin’s cell phone—has yet to be completed.
No charges have yet been filed by the Santa Fe District Attorney. Last week, New Mexico’s workplace safety division fined the producers the maximum amount for unsafe handling of firearms. (A rep for the producers said they planned to appeal the decision.)
An interview between Baldwin and investigators on Oct. 21 has also been released by the sheriff’s department Monday. In it, the actor begins by asking if he’s being charged with anything.
He describes the moment that the gun fired. He tells them about pulling the weapon out slowly when it unexpectedly went off. “I turn and cock the pistol—BANG! She hits the ground,” Baldwin says. “She goes down. He goes down, screaming. He’s like, ‘Jesus Christ!’”
Baldwin explained that he believed the gun was loaded with blanks, which have no slug to launch when fired, only a blast of powder. “And I thought, maybe, sometimes the wadding can come out, if you’re close, and you can get a burn,” Baldwin says, referencing other Hollywood accidents that killed actor Jon-Erik Hexum on the set of the TV series Cover Up in 1984 and Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow in 1994.