Alec Baldwin Calls Halyna Hutchins His "Friend" in First On-Camera Comments About Her Death

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Alec Baldwin has spoken about spending time with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who he called his friend, in what marks his first on-camera comments about her accidental death on the set of their film Rust.

Santa Fe police are investigating last week's incident, during which Alec fired a vintage .45 Colt revolver used as a prop, which he believed did not contain live ammunition, while rehearsing for the Western movie. A lead projectile then hit both Halyna and director Joel Souza, who was injured. On Saturday, Oct. 30, paparazzi filmed the actor and Hilaria Baldwin on the side of a country road in Vermont, after apparently following the couple and their kids, who Alec said were "crying" in their car.

Saying he was doing them a "courtesy," the actor patiently spoke to the celebrity press for about four minutes, while his wife, who shares six children with him, stood next to him, holding up her iPhone. When asked about the police probe, the actor told paparazzi, as seen a video posted on TMZ, "I'm not allowed to not make any comments because it's an ongoing investigation....It's an active investigation in terms of a woman dying. She was my friend. She was my friend."

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"The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting, I took her to dinner, with Joel, the director," Alec said, just before Hilaria approached him. He told her, "Excuse me," before continuing to speak to the press.

Alec Baldwin, Halyna Hutchins
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Universal Pictures, Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

"We were a very, very, you know, well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened," he said. "Now, I've been told multiple times, 'Don't make any comments about the ongoing investigation, and I can't. I can't. I can't."

In a previous statement, Alec called the shooting a "tragic accident." Halyna was survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their 9-year-old son, Andros. After her death, the actor was photographed walking with the two.

On Saturday, one of the members of the paparazzi asked the actor about his recent meeting with "her family." The journalist said he forgot her name. Hilaria commented, "Halyna! Her name is Halyna! If you're spending this much time waiting for us, you should know her name. Her name is Halyna."

"You don't know her name? Come on," Alec said. "Halyna Hutchins. I met with her husband, Matthew, and her son, yes, that's right."

After he began to talk further about Halyna's family, Hilaria interrupted, saying to the paparazzi, "You guys, you know what, no details." Alec told her he would answer the question.

"The guy is overwhelmed with grief," he said about Halyna's husband. "He is in shock. He has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him because we're very worried about his family and his kid. We're eagerly awaiting for the sheriff's department to tell us what their investigation has yielded."

Alec, who typically avoids paparazzi and whose family is continuously followed by photographers in their home state of New York, continued to stand with Hilaria and talk to the press.

"I do know that an ongoing effort to limit the use of firearms on film sets is something I'm extremely interested in," he said. "What has to happen now is we have to realize that when it does go wrong and it's this horrible catastrophic thing, some new measures have to take place...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."

Production on Rust was halted after the shooting. When asked if he thinks it will resume, Alec said he did not.

At a news conference earlier this week, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and Assistant Director David Halls both "handled and/or inspected the loaded firearm prior to Baldwin firing the weapon" and that all three "have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements."

"I talk to the cops every day," Alec told the paparazzi. "I'm cooperating with them, of course."

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