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Search warrant issued for Alec Baldwin’s phone in shooting investigation

Police are currently investigating the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film 'Rust'

By Patrick Clarke

Alec Baldwin in a black tuxedo with a white shirt at the New York Philharmonic Gala
Baldwin was set to play the lead in the low-budget western, as well as produce. (Photo: Nadja Sayej/ Alamy)

Police have issued a search warrant for the phone of actor Alec Baldwin as they investigate the fatal shooting on the set of the film ‘Rust’.

On October 21 cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after a prop gun allegedly being handled by Alec Baldwin “discharged” during filming.

Hutchins was airlifted from the film set at Bonanza Creed Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico but later died in hospital. ‘Rust’ director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident.

At the time, Baldwin said in a statement: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins.”

Now, a warrant has been issued by Santa Fe Magistrates Court after being requested by the Sherrif’s Department. It asks for the phone to be seized and searched, saying “there may be evidence on the phone” that could be relevant to the case.

Court documents released on Thursday said: “Affiant is requesting a warrant for the seizure and search of Alec Baldwin’s cell phone to search for any evidence relating to the death investigation of Halyna Hutchins.”

Alex Baldwin Rust shooting interview
Alec Baldwin speaking to ABC News following the fatal shooting on the set of ‘Rust’

It added: “Affiant was also made aware there were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production Rust in the course of interviews.”

Last week, Baldwin shared an impassioned open letter on his Instagram to dismiss descriptions of ‘Rust’ as a “chaotic, dangerous and exploitative workplace”.

Co-signed by twenty-five of the film’s cast and crew, the letter says that “while we stand firmly with our unions and strongly support the fight for better working conditions across our industry, we do not feel that this set was a representation of the kind of conditions our unions are fighting against”.

In the opening sentence, Baldwin notes that the letter had “not been sanctioned or influenced in any way by the producers”.

He goes on to argue that “the memory of Halyna Hutchins” is what matters most, as well as “the need to find modern alternatives to outdated industry firearm and safety practices”.

On December 2, Baldwin claimed that he had not pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Hutchins. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never,” he said in an interview with ABC News.