(Los Angeles) American police officers investigating the death of a filmmaker on the set of Rust were still waiting on Thursday for Alec Baldwin, who was handling the gun involved in the accident, to give them his cell phone as they asked him for nearly a month.
At the time of the drama, on October 21 at a ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the actor was working on a scene with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin maintains that he never pulled the trigger on the gun when the shot was fired, saying that he contented himself with cocking the hammer. The weapon had been presented to him as harmless, as it was supposed to contain only dummy bullets.
The police are looking in particular to know how live ammunition could have been found on the set, which is in theory strictly prohibited.
In mid-December, investigators had obtained a warrant authorizing them to seize the phone of Alec Baldwin, also producer of the western, believing that it could contain “evidence” relating to the case, such as messages or emails.
According to the warrant, Alec Baldwin had in particular exchanged emails with the gunsmith of the shooting concerning the type of revolver to be used on the fatal scene.
“To date, the cell phone has not been returned to the authorities,” said the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Services in a statement.
Investigators contacted Alec Baldwin’s lawyers to obtain the phone in question, but were unsuccessful. The sheriff’s services then requested the assistance of the Santa Fe prosecutor who, “for jurisdictional reasons”, began negotiations for the actor to hand over his phone “on a voluntary basis,” the statement said.
Last week on his Instagram account, the actor posted a rather disjointed video in which he said he was willing to cooperate with the police and hand over his phone.
But he said the request, from the state of New Mexico to the state of New York where he resides, must follow proper legal procedures. “It’s a time consuming procedure,” he says in the video.
“All the insinuations that I do not respect requests, orders or warrants concerning my phone, these are bullshit, these are lies,” said Alec Baldwin.
No arrests have taken place to date in this case, but criminal prosecution is not excluded in the event that responsibilities are established, the Santa Fe prosecutor’s services had underlined shortly after the tragedy.
In an interview with the ABC channel, Alec Baldwin said he felt neither guilty nor even “responsible” for the death of Halyna Hutchins.