'Rust' producers are telling cast and crew not to delete texts or throw anything away, report says, citing leaked letter

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Set of the movie "Rust"
Aerial photo shows the "Rust" movie set at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
  • "Rust" producers told cast and crew to keep documents and texts from the set, NBC News reported.

  • They said in a letter that they had launched their own investigation and hired their own lawyers.

  • Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set last Thursday, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The "Rust" movie producers wrote to cast and crew, saying they had launched their own investigation into last week's fatal shooting, and that no one should delete any messages or throw away items, NBC News reported.

The letter, obtained by NBC News, said the producers had hired their own legal team. It came as federal authorities also opened their own investigation into the shooting.

"In addition to cooperating with authorities, we hired a legal team from Jenner & Block to conduct an investigation of the events," the letter said.

"We have stressed that they will have full discretion about who to interview and any conclusions they draw."

It added: "We know that reliving this tragedy will be hard, but your participation is important for all of us to be able to fully understand what happened, and we encourage you to share your perspective."

The producers also asked cast and crew not to delete or throw away anything from the set: "It is also typical when investigations are underway to ask witnesses to preserve any information they have - such as emails, texts, drives, paper documents, or other physical items. If you have any question about whether something should be preserved, please err on the side of preservation."

The actor Alec Baldwin, who is also a producer of the movie, fired a prop gun on the "Rust" set last Thursday, killing the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin was told the firearm was a "cold gun" - which meant there were no live rounds inside - though it later emerged that it did contain a live round, an affidavit said.

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