(CNN) — The cast and crew of “Rust” had just returned from lunch when it happened.
One minute, producer and star Alec Baldwin and a handful of others were rehearsing a scene in a stave church on a dusty Old West set destined to look like 1880s Kansas. The next minute, two people were bleeding. from gunshot wounds – one of which would be fatal – and everyone was recovering from confusion and shock.
Here, based on a search warrant affidavit and 911 calls, is a moment-by-moment account of what happened that day.
A sudden shot rang out on set
The crew was filming last Thursday at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, an Old West movie set outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the film, Baldwin plays a gray-haired outlaw who flees the authorities with his 13-year-old grandson.
Mornings usually started with breakfast at 6:30 a.m., but they were late that day. A six-person camera crew had recently left work, complaining about salary and housing, and a new crew had been hired.
But even with the delay, things seemed to be going well, Director Joel Souza told Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies in the affidavit. Baldwin and crew members began rehearsing a scene in the rustic church, paused for lunch, and then returned to set.
Baldwin, dressed in Old West clothing, stood alongside Souza, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and a few others inside the simple wooden structure. A camera was installed, but because they were only rehearsing, nothing was filmed or recorded.
Assistant Director Dave Halls pulled a prop pistol from a car outside the church and yelled “cold weapon!” Indicating that it was unloaded. He then handed it to Baldwin, who was sitting on a church pew facing the camera and the crew.
Baldwin was rehearsing a “cross shot,” which is when a shooter removes his gun from a holster on the opposite side of the body from the hand he is drawing. The scene required him to point the gun towards the camera.
It was around 1:50 pm Souza told officers as he was viewing the scene through the camera and nearby monitors when he heard “what sounded like a whiplash and then a loud bang.”
Hutchins staggered back and fell to the ground, clutching his stomach and saying he couldn’t feel his legs. Souza, who was next to him, noticed blood on his shoulder.
Suddenly, there was chaos.
A script supervisor called 911
The crew members scattered. A doctor tried to stop Hutchins’ bleeding while others frantically called 911.
In a 911 call, a woman who described herself as the film’s script supervisor told the operator what had happened.
“Two people have been accidentally shot on a film set with a prop gun. We need help immediately,” the woman said, according to a transcript of the call obtained by CNN affiliate KOAT.
“They have shot a director and a camerawoman.”
The 911 operator asked if the prop pistol was loaded with a live bullet.
“I can’t tell you that,” the woman said. “We have two wounded by a movie, a shot … I was sitting, we rehearsed and shot, and I ran, we all ran. They were on the floor … the cameraman and the director.”
So the caller started cursing an unidentified person about gun safety on set.
Then came another call to 911, this one from an unidentified man on set. The operator told him that an ambulance was on the way. He also offered to give instructions on how to stop the bleeding from the victims.
The caller told the operator that a doctor on set was helping treat those who were shot. There was a cacophony of voices in the background.
Investigators seized Baldwin’s clothes
Sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly after.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to a hospital about 55 miles away in Albuquerque, where she was pronounced dead. Souza, 48, suffered a gunshot wound to his right shoulder and is recovering.
A distraught Baldwin changed into his street clothes and handed over his bloodstained outfit to authorities. He also gave the prop pistol to the gunsmith – the person who supervises firearms on movie sets – who pulled out the spent case and handed it over to detectives.
Investigators also found two other support pistols, a style belt western and some ammunition.
It is unclear what was in the gun Baldwin fired. Detectives learned that the gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez, had placed three prop pistols in the cart before Halls took one and handed it to Baldwin. Souza, the film’s director, told investigators he believed the weapon was unloaded and safe.
In the affidavit, detectives requested a search warrant to seize more items as evidence, including firearms and ammunition, cameras, memory cards and computers.
The film industry is in mourning for Hutchins, who was seen as a rising talent in Hollywood. Baldwin has said that he is heartbroken.
The Bonanza Creek Ranch, which has been used for dozens of Old West-themed movies and television series such as “Lonesome Dove” and “Cowboys and Aliens,” is now deserted. The production crew said they halted filming for “Rust,” at least until the investigation into the shooting is complete.
Five days later, there are still more questions than answers.
Criminal charges are not ruled out
The Santa Fe County district attorney is not ruling out criminal charges in the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust,” a spokesman for the prosecutor confirmed to CNN, noting that the incident remains under active investigation.
The New York Times first reported on the possible filing of criminal charges, following a telephone interview with District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
In the interview, Carmack-Altwies said that the term “prop pistol” is misleading and that the pistol that killed Halyna Hutchins was a “legitimate pistol”, describing it as a “pistol from the old age”.
With information from CNN’s Josh Campbell
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism