'One in a Trillion Episode': Alec Baldwin Speaks for First Time Since Fatal Shooting at Movie Set
23:35 GMT 30.10.2021 (Updated: 00:58 GMT 31.10.2021)
During a press conference on Wednesday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department said it was "too early" to comment on potential charges because the investigation is still ongoing. Sheriff Adan Mendoza, though, has described the department's actions as a "criminal investigation."
On Saturday, Alec Baldwin spoke out about the continuing investigation into the fatal shooting of the film "Rust," which claimed the life of a 42-year-old camera operator, Halyna Hutchins.
Before holding the impromptu news appearance, Baldwin and his wife Hilaria were on the road, followed by the media and paparazzi. The actor reportedly pulled over and asked for some space before speaking with them.
The 63-year-old actor told cameras in Vermont that he is cooperating with the authorities and has spoken with them every day. Baldwin insisted that he was unable to comment on the ongoing investigation.
“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing case,” Baldwin said in videos captured by several reporters. “I've been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe. I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t. It’s an active investigation in terms of a woman dying.”
The actor said that Hutchins was his friend, and that the day he arrived in Santa Fe before the shooting started, he "took her to dinner with Joel [Souza], the director."
"We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together, and then this horrible event happened," he added after his wife Hilaria with a phone in her hand apparently tried to interrupt him.
Baldwin acknowledged that the fatal shooting on set was a "one in a trillion" tragedy. He also revealed that he met Hutchins' husband, Matthew, and her children, to talk about the incident.
“They’re beside themselves with grief,” said Baldwin, who was again briefly interrupted by his wife. “The guy is overwhelmed with grief. There are incidental accidents on film sets from time-to-time, but nothing like this. This is a one-in-a-trillion episode. And so he is in shock. He has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him because we are very worried about his family and his kid.”
He added that they are "eagerly awaiting the sheriff’s department to tell us what their investigation has yielded."
Baldwin also stated that he is "extremely interested" in minimizing the usage
of firearms on set.
"But remember, how many bullets have been fired in films and TV shows in the last 75 years. This is America," Baldwin said. "How many bullets have gone off in movies and on TV sets before? How many, billions in the last 75 years? And nearly all of it without incident."
The actor proposed the use of "rubber guns, plastic guns, no live -- no real armaments on set," however he admitted that it is not for him to decide that, adding that he was not an expert on the issue.
"It's urgent that you understand I'm not an expert in this field, so whatever other people decide is the best way to go in terms of protecting people's safety on film sets, I'm all in favor of and I will cooperate with that in any way that I can," he concluded.
26 October 2021, 11:36 GMT
Earlier, Sheriff Mendoza stated that the investigators collected about "600 items of evidence," including confiscating three handguns from the set, as well as 500 ammo rounds.
According to media and paparazzi, the Baldwin family was traveling
in the northeast of the country this past week trying to maintain a low profile.
Baldwin accidentally shot
cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza by the same bullet on the set of an upcoming western "Rust" in New Mexico on October 21. After armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed placed the pistol on a cart on set, assistant director Dave Halls informed Baldwin that the gun was a "cold gun," meaning "not hot" or unloaded.
According to a search warrant executed by the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office, prop master Sarah Zachry also handled the revolver before the deadly incident.