Police release footage of Alec Baldwin practising with gun before fatal Rust shooting

Alec Baldwin is also being sued, as US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

Alec Baldwin is seen practising drawing his gun on the set of the Rust movie in new footage released by police.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office has released a number of files related to its investigation into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western film.

Hutchins was killed on the set of the movie in October last year after a prop gun Baldwin was holding was discharged.

The footage with the actor brandishing the gun was reportedly taken the same day as the incident.

Alec Baldwin practicing drawing his gun before the fatal shooting

While being questioning, the actor pieces together what happened as the gun went off.

At the time he was still apparently unaware that Hutchins would die and was shocked to learn that he had been holding a gun loaded with live ammunition.

Mr Baldwin said the gun should have been empty for a rehearsal with no filming.

“I take the gun out slowly. I turn, I cock the pistol,” Baldwin says. “Bang, it goes off. She (Hutchins) hits the ground. She goes down. He (Souza) goes down screaming.”

He adds: "I've shot enough guns in my days in movies, I've never seen this before."

Another clip shows officers debriefing Baldwin just a few hours after the fatal shooting.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said various components of the investigation “remain outstanding” including FBI firearm and ballistic forensics as well as analysis of Baldwin’s phone data.

It comes after a report into the incident found the film’s production company “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set” and “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”.

Evidence from the fatal shooting Credit: AP

“Today the sheriff’s office is releasing all files associated with our ongoing investigation,” Mendoza said on Monday.

“The files are all related to the Rust movie set investigation and include lapel/dash camera footage from deputies and detectives, incident reports, crime scene photos, examination reports, witness interviews, set video and staff photos collected throughout the course of this investigation.”

At a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on October 21, 2021, Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza. They had been inside a small church during setup for filming a scene.

Police on their way to the scene of the fatal shooting

Director Joel Souza described “a very loud bang, and then it felt like someone kicked me in the shoulder." He knew Hutchins was wounded too and asked if she was ok.

In the October 21 video, Baldwin repeatedly says there were no prior problems of any kind with firearms on the set of Rust.

Statements that have since conflicted with more recent findings by state occupational safety regulators, who last week issued the maximum possible fine of nearly $137,000 against the Rust film production company.

The fine comes after New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said the movie had a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols.

The decision was backed by testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting.

FBI officials also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

Rust Movie Productions has indicated it will dispute the findings and sanction.

Baldwin said in an interview with ABC News that he was on set pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction when it went off without him pulling the trigger.

Unscripted - Listen to the latest episode