Alec Baldwin was handed what was described as a safe "cold gun" on the set of his movie "Rust", but the prop gun contained live rounds when it was fired, according to details of the police investigation into the fatal shooting released on Friday.
The shot hit Hutchins in the chest, and director Joel Souza who was sitting behind her, in the shoulder, according to a county sheriff's affidavit filed in Santa Fe magistrates court.
"It's absolutely shocking. I think when I first found out yesterday, I... My response was just like: 'Well, no, that's not possible'," director Cate Devaney, who worked with Hutchins on "The Mad Hatter", told Reuters in an interview.
"It'll be interesting to see what exactly happened and where things just were neglected," she added.
While the exact type of weapon used in the shooting on the set of "Rust" remained unclear, an affidavit filed by New Mexico authorities on Friday said the film's assistant director grabbed one of three guns placed on a table by the armorer.
The assistant director took the gun to Baldwin, handed it to the actor and yelled, "cold gun," in an indication that "the prop-gun did not have any live rounds," the affidavit said.
Prop guns have long been used on sets for the realistic visual effect of the flash and recoil after an actor pulls the trigger. Guns with blank cartridges, which lack a bullet but use gunpowder, can be fatal at close range. But Hutchins' death has reignited concern about their use.