New details reveal what happened moments before deadly shooting on ‘Rust’ set

New details reveal what happened moments before deadly shooting on ‘Rust’ set
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A search warrant released overnight has shed more light on the sequence of events that led to Alec Baldwin firing a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded the director on the New Mexico set of the movie "Rust" last week.

No one has been arrested or charged as police continue to investigate how the tragic shooting occurred.

Just hours after safety concerns caused some crew members to walk off the set, Baldwin was handed a prop gun that was declared safe. The set was not supposed to have any live ammunition.

Baldwin was sitting on a wooden pew during rehearsal "drawing his weapon and pointing the revolver towards the camera lens," according to a search warrant from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

Director Joel Souza, who was shot in the shoulder, said he was "looking over the shoulder of Halyna when he heard what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop." Witnesses said Hutchins, who was hit in the chest, said she "couldn't feel her legs" and "began to stumble backwards," according to the warrant.

Hutchins, 42, was taken by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Dave Halls, the film's assistant director, said the prop firearm was a "cold gun," meaning there were no live rounds, according to court documents.

NBC News learned that "multiple previous misfires" of the same prop gun Baldwin used led multiple crew members to walk off the set just hours before the tragedy. The film's production company said it was not made aware of any official complaints.

Prop maker Margaret Goll previously worked with Halls and told NBC News that Halls "did not maintain a safe working environment" on a previous project.

"He did not have any care whatsoever to those conditions in any of our experiences, and especially not in my experiences," she said.

Halls did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, was in charge of weapons on the set for "Rust." She also did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News, but discussed her inexperience on the "Voices of the West" podcast last month.

"I think loading blanks is like the scariest thing to me because I was like, 'Oh, I don’t know anything about it,'" she said.

NBC News legal analyst Lisa Green outlined the possibilities for any criminal charges as well as the probability of civil lawsuits being filed in Hutchins' death.

"For a prosecutor to bring criminal charges there needs to be some level of either intent to harm or a total failure to care about the repercussions of using the gun," Green told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Monday. "And so far, certainly for Alec Baldwin, it doesn't seem that that's the case. By all accounts he was handed something he thought was safe to fire — he fired it. That's a terrible accident, not criminal."

Green said civil lawsuits are almost certain to be filed.

"It would be extraordinary not to see the family (of Hutchins), even the director, sue for damages, that's the compensation they're owed," Green said.

A crucial area in determining liability will be the chain of custody for the gun and who was responsible for maintaining safety, according to Green. Baldwin could face liability as a producer on the film rather than as the person who fired the gun, Green said.

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