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Not long after unexpected gunfire erupted inside the small western chapel on the New Mexico film set of "Rust," Alec Baldwin stood outside the chapel, still wearing his western clothing.
“I’m the person who had the gun in the scene,” he said to an officer stringing up crime scene tape in new footage released Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office—which is still conducting an ongoing investigation into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October—released “all files” related to the shooting, including body camera footage from deputies, witness interviews, set video and staff photos connected to the investigation on Monday.
The videos provide a haunting look at some of Hutchins’ final moments as she and director Joel Souza lay sprawled on the ground of the church as medics frantically try to tend to her wounds.
“Are you doing ok? Can you look at me?” a medic asks Hutchins, who appears to be responsive, in the footage obtained by Oxygen.com.
“Halyna, hang in there,” another person can be heard telling her. “Hang in there.”
Hutchins died the afternoon of October 21 at a New Mexico hospital after being airlifted from the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set. The 42-year-old married mother had been shot in the chest after an antique revolver held by Baldwin discharged and struck her, before the bullet lodged in Souza’s shoulder.
Souza, who can be heard moaning and repeatedly saying “ow” in the footage, survived the shooting.
The videos also provide a glimpse into Baldwin’s initial interview with detectives. The veteran actor asks a deputy if he’s being charged as he sits in a small interview room, according to CNN.
The deputy assures Baldwin he is not being charged and reads him his Miranda rights before the questioning about what happened that day on set begins.
“Do you think someone would do this deliberately?” the investigator asked.
“I can’t imagine who would,” Baldwin replied.
He went on to explain how firearms are typically handled on the set and described feeling “no recoil” as the antique revolver went off, striking his colleagues.
“When I shot the gun, away from the cameraman, I never aim the gun at the camera, I turned and went like this,” he said, making a gun with his fingers and pointing across the table, according to Fox News. “And she was there. And the gun went off. And she just went right on the ground.”
Baldwin said it had been the “first time” they had been rehearsing for that shot when the gun went off.
Baldwin described being handed the weapon by armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, but in a later telephone interview with a detective, he insists that it had been first assistant director David Halls who had handed him the firearm before the fatal shooting.
“Why did Halls take the gun off the cart and hand me the gun. Why?” he asked the detective. “He must have a reason why. Why?”
Baldwin went on to say that it was “very rare” for Halls to have been the one to provide him with the gun.
“He said we had a cold gun on set and handed me the gun,” Baldwin said in the telephone interview.
Souza, who was interviewed from his hospital bed after being given medication that made him disoriented, also told police “the armorer” had been the one to give Baldwin the weapon.
He described hearing a “very loud bang” before he said it felt as though “somebody kicked me in the shoulder.”
“And then I was down on my a--, and then I look over and see the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, with blood coming out of her back…I think it went through her and into me,” Souza said.
The director asked about Hutchins' condition, but the law enforcement officer said he didn’t have any updates.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the circumstances around the shooting—and how a live round got into the antique revolver—for months. To date, no charges have been filed and Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in statement obtained by Oxygen.com that the investigation remains open and ongoing.
According to Mendoza, “various components of the investigation remain outstanding including, FBI firearm and ballistics along with DNA and latent finger print analysis, Office of the New Mexico Medical Examiner findings report and the analysis of Mr. Alec Baldwin’s phone data extracted by Suffolk County Sheriff’s investigators.”
“Once these investigative components are provided to the sheriff’s office we will be able to complete the investigation to forward it to the Santa Fe District Attorney for review,” he concluded.
In response to the sheriff’s office’s decision to release the video footage and documents, Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement to Fox News that the actor believes the information demonstrates that Baldwin “acted responsibility and did not have control over any production issues” identified earlier in a report from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health & Safety Bureau (OHSB).
"Additionally, the interviews and affidavits disclosed today continue to corroborate Mr. Baldwin's description of the events -- including an affidavit from the Detective stating that the cameraman, who was standing next to Ms. Hutchins and Mr. Souza at the time of the accident, confirmed that Mr. Baldwin was 'very careful' with guns on the set," the statement said.
The OHSB announced a nearly $137,000 fine against Rust Movie Productions, LLC last week after noting what it described as a “plain indifference to employee safety” on set before the deadly shooting.
An attorney for Halyna’s husband, Matthew Hutchins—who has filed a civil lawsuit against Baldwin and others related to the film—declined to comment on the evidence that was released.
"We were surprised by the decision of the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office to release such a large amount of evidence today given that the investigation is still ongoing and active," attorney Brian Panish said in a statement obtained by CNN. "For this reason, we are not going to comment on the material released except to say we hope the press will exercise discretion in how they use the graphic images and videos of the fatal events of Oct 21, 2021."
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