Rust Director Recalls Fatal Shooting Of Halyna Hutchins As New Details Emerge Into Cinematographer’s Death

Joel Souza said he saw Hutchins grab her midsection and stumble backwards, before noticing he was bleeding.

The director who was injured in the shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust has spoken of the moment the movie’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot.

The 42-year-old was killed when Baldwin fired a prop gun after an assistant director unwittingly handed the actor a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use, according to court documents.

New details have now emerged from the case in an affidavit given by Joel Souza that was released on Sunday night and seen by The New York Times.

Joel Souza
Joel Souza
Ron AdarRon Adar/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

“Joel stated that they had Alec sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw. Joel said he was looking over the shoulder of (Hutchins), when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop,” the affidavit read.

“Joel then vaguely remembers (Hutchins) complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection. Joel also said (Hutchins) began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground,” the affidavit adds.

Hutchins had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest area.

Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins
Mat Hayward via Getty Images

Cameraman Reid Russell, who was standing near Hutchins and Souza when the gun went off, said that he “remembered Joel having blood on his person, and Ms Hutchins speaking and saying she couldn’t feel her legs”.

Detectives are currently investigating how and what type of projectile was fired.

“This investigation remains open and active,” sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said in a statement.

“No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film Rust.
Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film Rust.
via Associated Press

On Friday, Alec Baldwin said his “heart is broken” for the director of photography’s family, and said he is “fully cooperating with the police investigation” to establish how the accident happened.

In a series of tweets, Baldwin said: “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.

“I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”

He added: “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.”