Alec Baldwin says it's "a lie" that he asked for a bigger gun just prior to the Rust fatal shooting.
"This, in fact, is a lie," the actor — who was holding the gun when it discharged, killing Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza — wrote on Twitter with a link to a Newsweek story. "The choices regarding any props by me for the film Rust were made weeks before production began. To suggest that any changes were made 'before fatal shooting' is false."
His comments came Thursday after the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department filed an eight-page search warrant to obtain Baldwin's cell phone — and it was granted. The filing included an affidavit from Detective Alexandra Hancock detailing investigation findings.
It said when interviewed right after the Bonanza Creek Ranch shooting, "Alec described the gun to be a 'period' Colt. He said there were emails transferred back and forth between [armorer] Hannah [Gutierrez Reed] and him where she showed him different styles of guns. He said he requested a bigger gun, and she also showed him different styles of knives for the ‘production. Alec was shown a Colt with a brown handle, and a cherry handle, and he ultimately chose the one with the brown handle."
The filing suggests that was a conversation during pre-production — not on the day of the shooting. The docs state a search of Hutchins's phone had conversations about Rust production dating back to July — three months before Hutchins was killed on Oct. 21. Production officially began on Oct. 6.
The affidavit also details how Baldwin was brought to the interview room at 5:12 p.m., was advised of his Miranda Rights and agreed to speak with detectives. He recounted how in the scene he filmed that day, "he slowly takes the gun out of the holster, then very dramatically turns it and cocks the hammer, which is when the gun [went] off. He said it was supposed to be a 'cold gun' [and] all the rounds in the gun were supposed to be cosmetic or 'dummy' rounds." However, as we now know, there was a live round in the gun — and other live ammo found on the set.
"Alec advised when the gun went off, he could recall Halyna" who was right in front of him, going down to the ground, and Joel [Souza] start to scream," it stated.
Authorities — who have said no one has been ruled out at this point in the investigation— stated Baldwin's phone is "essential for a full investigation." The detective also noted Baldwin — and later his attorney — had been asked to turn over his phone so it could be searched. It said they were "instructed to acquire a warrant."
An attorney for Baldwin addressed the phone warrant in a statement to the New York Times on Thursday night: "We are confident that the evidence will show that Mr. Baldwin is not responsible civilly or criminally for what occurred on Oct. 21, and he continues to cooperate with authorities. We proactively requested that the authorities obtain a warrant so that we could take steps to protect Mr. Baldwin's family and personal information that is clearly unrelated to the investigation."
In the court filing was also the detective's account of a conversation with Gutierrez Reed right after the shooting. What stands out there is that it says, "Hannah made a statement that she did not believe anyone on the film set would be that malicious to bring live ammo onto the set." That is different than what her attorney has since said in several TV interviews and statements. He actually floated "sabotage" as a possible motive — and suggested union workers who walked off the movie set that morning could have put live ammo on the set in retaliation. A crew member called the allegation "incredibly irresponsible."
Baldwin gave his first TV interview about the shooting on Dec. 2. He said he didn't pull the trigger on the antique gun. He said while rehearsing a scene for the western, he cocked the firearm, pulling the hammer of the weapon, and then released it and the gun discharged. Forensic testing is being done at the FBI Lab.