New details of the catastrophic on-set accident in which actor Alec Baldwin shot dead cinematographer Halyna Hutchins have been revealed.
In an extensive story on Sunday, local time, based on interviews with 14 Rust crew members as well as documentary evidence including emails and text messages, The Los Angeles Times detailed the exact words of both Baldwin and Hutchins in the seconds after the "one in a trillion" gun accident on the film's set.
Moments earlier, Baldwin had been preparing for a shootout scene inside a church, going through the motions as the camera crew got its angles right. He was showing the crew what he would do when the cameras started rolling.
"So. I guess I'm gonna take this out, pull it and go, 'Bang!'" he said, gripping the gun sitting in his holster.
As Baldwin rehearsed the take before the reel began, the weapon - which was meant to be loaded with dummy rounds - discharged and struck Hutchins in the chest.
It also hit the film's director, Joel Souza, in the shoulder.
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe. Photo / AP
"What the f*** just happened?" a shellshocked Baldwin said repeatedly, with "growing urgency" according to the LA Times.
"What the f*** was that? That burns!" Souza screamed.
Hutchins collapsed back into the arms of the film's head electrician, bleeding profusely from her wound.
"Medic!" someone yelled, as various crew members huddled around her.
"Oh, that was no good," a boom operator said, looking into her eyes.
"No," Hutchins replied.
"That was no good. That was no good at all."
Shortly afterwards, she was pronounced dead.
Most parts of the Times' account of the events inside that church just south of Santa Fe, and of the "chaotic" production that preceded them, were corroborated by at least two people.
Many of the witnesses, however, requested anonymity due to the ongoing police investigation.
A musician plays a violin behind a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honour in Albuquerque. Photo / AP
According to their accounts, there were three "accidental discharges" of weapons on set before the one that killed Hutchins and wounded Souza. Camera assistant Lane Luper said one woman from the props department had shot herself in the foot with a blank round.
The witnesses said Hutchins and Souza were about 0.6 metres away from the muzzle of the gun when it fired. Both fell to the ground instantly.
"I was looking right at her. I could see an exit wound that immediately started pouring blood, and that's when [people screamed], 'She's shot!' and everything went crazy," an unnamed crew member said.
People in the church were reportedly "shrieking", "sobbing" and "shell-shocked".
Baldwin himself spoke publicly over the weekend.
"There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this," he told a group of paparazzi trailing him in Vermont.
"We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened."
And in an interview with the New York Post, the Hollywood star's wife Hilaria today worried for his mental state, saying the tragic incident could leave him with PTSD.
"I brought [Alec] up here because we have to mourn Halyna's death," she said, explaining how the couple had ended up in remote Vermont.
"Alec had a really traumatic thing happen, and I am trying to limit the PTSD.
Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe. Photo / AP
"You look at what happens to soldiers and police officers when something like this happens, it's traumatic. We just came up here for quiet."
Asked whether Baldwin would act again, Hilaria was hopeful but not certain.
"He needs space for me to take care of him and his mental health," she said.
"It's an awful thing that happened. Alec feels awful."
It is still unknown how the gun ended up being loaded with a real bullet. Law enforcement continues to investigate, and the local District Attorney has not ruled out filing charges.
"There are going to be no answers until we hear the results of the investigation," Hilaria Baldwin told The Post.
"We don't know what happened, and we have the same questions as everyone does. We want answers faster than anyone. We have to have respect for the process of the authorities."
Last week, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said he thought there "was some complacency" on the film's set and "some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry".
The production company behind Rust released a statement the day after Hutchins' death, claiming it had received no official complaints concerning weapon safety leading up to the fatal incident.
"The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company," the statement read.
"Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down."
Detectives learned the film's head armourer, Hannah Gutierrez, had laid three prop guns on the cart before David Halls, the assistant director, grabbed one and handed it to Baldwin.
Souza told investigators he believed the gun was unloaded and safe.
According to District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, an "enormous amount of bullets" was found on the set.
Carmack-Altwies also said it was incorrect to refer to the weapon handled by Baldwin as a "prop".
"It was a legit gun," Carmack-Altwies said.
"It was an antique-era appropriate gun."
- Alex Blair, news.com.au with Bella Fowler