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In an affidavit for a search warrant, Detective Joel Cano on Friday asked the state courts to allow him “to confirm if the incident that took place was or wasn’t recorded.”
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The indoor rehearsal scene October 21 at the Bonanza Creek Ranch saw Baldwin handed a prop gun that “discharged” and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident inside the “grey/brown” structure on the Ranch location, as the search warrant issued by Santa Fe County Magistrate John Rysanek calls it (READ THE SEARCH WARRANT HERE)
Noting Baldwin was”practicing a quick draw,” according to Souza, the document from Det. Cano states that both the director and the camera man at the rehearsal say “there was no video or audio being filmed, as it was just preparation of the scene and setting. However, the affidavit also states that “affiant is aware people involved in the commission of crime(s) often attempt to conceal, tamper with and/or dispose of evidence.”
“The warrant was executed this afternoon and they are out there right now,” Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios confirmed to Deadline this evening of investigators.
The detailed affidavit claims Baldwin was handed one of a trio of prop guns on a nearby cart by an assistant director and told the prop was a “cold gun” that did not have any live rounds in it. Baldwin fired the prop gun, hitting Hutchins at close range and then Souza with the blast. Indicating that all three prop guns were prepped by the on-set armorer, the AD “did not know live rounds were in the prop gun,” says the document from Cano.
The admission of “live rounds” in Det. Cano’s affidavit is a shift from earlier today for the police. This morning the Sheriff’s Office declared “that hasn’t been determined by us as of yet” after West Coast IATSE Local 44 told its members that “a live single round was accidentally fired on set.” Know it looks like it has been determined, or is at least the operating theory.
After the shooting on the already previously troubled Rust set on Thursday frantic 911 call was made by crew members and first responders arrived on the scene quickly.
The affidavit also says that the armorer took out the “spent casing” from the prop gun before handing it over to sheriff’s deputies on Thursday evening.
Deputies took possession not just of the prop gun that killed Hutchins, but the cart the guns were on, a belt and other “prop ammunition” when they showed up Thursday. Baldwin, the armorer and others were interviewed and released by the Sheriff’s department last night.
The armorer and several other crew members on the 1880s-set film are named in today’s affidavit.
To further their probe, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office want all possible footage, production computer equipment, memory and other digital cards, all weapons (real and prop), all weapon ownership documents, cell phones and smartphones of crew and cast that may have captured footage and photos of the location.
They are also seeking the “Old Western Style” costume Baldwin was wearing at the time of the shooting. Specifically, the police are looking at Baldwin’s clothes and the outfits others in the room had on for blood remains and other evidence because of the individuals’ “close proximity” to the shooting.
“This case is still in its preliminary states of investigation,” First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said to Deadline earlier today on the possibility of criminal and other charges being filed.
“We are assisting the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and have offered our full support to them,” she added. “At this time, we do not know if charges will be filed. We will look into all facts and evidence of the case with great discretion and have further information at a later time. Our thoughts are with all affected by this tragedy.”
Before any criminal homicide charges or otherwise are filed, if they are, law enforcement sources tell us that among other things there has to be a determination whether a prop gun is considered a deadly weapon. Carmack-Altwies’ office told Deadline it believes it could be, but still want to see what the sheriffs discover before any final judgment is made.
Earlier on Friday, sheriff spokesman Rios said that the department expects “to have more information next week as our investigation continues.”
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