A search warrant was issued for actor Alec Baldwin’s cellphone Thursday, nearly two months after a shooting on the New Mexico set of “Rust” killed the film’s cinematographer and injured its director, court documents show.
In an affidavit filed in Santa Fe Magistrate Court, authorities asked for the iPhone “due to conversations between affiant and Alec Baldwin being conducted through ‘iMessages.'”
The affiant is identified as a violent crimes detective with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department. The documents give no further details about the conversations.
Baldwin was holding a Colt .45 on Oct. 21 when it fired, killing Halyna Hutchins, 42, and wounding Joel Souza, 48.
Aaron Dyer, Baldwin’s civil attorney, said they believe evidence will show Baldwin is not civilly or criminally responsible for the fatal shooting.
“We proactively requested that the authorities obtain a warrant so that we could take steps to protect Mr. Baldwin’s family and personal information that is clearly unrelated to the investigation,” Dyer said in a statement. “A phone contains a person’s entire life, and personal information needs to be protected. While they evaluate the phone information, we hope that the authorities continue to focus on how the live rounds got on the set in the first place.”
Baldwin said he didn’t pull the trigger in an interview with ABC News this month. He said he believed the gun was empty when, authorities say, another member of the film crew, assistant director Dave Halls, gave him the pistol.
According to an earlier search warrant, investigators said Halls yelled “cold gun,” indicating incorrectly that the firearm didn’t have any live rounds.
Halls’ lawyer, Lisa Torraco, has maintained that Halls didn’t hand the gun to Baldwin. And determining whether it was loaded wasn’t his responsibility, she said.
Halls has confirmed Baldwin’s account that he didn’t pull the trigger, and Torraco has suggested it may have misfired.
Baldwin said in the ABC interview that Hutchins was telling him how to position the pistol and when to cock it when the “gun went off.”
Baldwin said “someone” was responsible for the shooting, but not him.
“There’s only one question to be resolved, only one, and that is where did the live round come from?” Baldwin said in the interview.
Lawyers for the crew’s weapons specialist, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, have suggested that someone may have tried to sabotage the movie by bringing a live round to the set, but they provided no evidence to support the theory, which prosecutors have rejected.
Baldwin said in the ABC interview that it was “overwhelmingly likely” that the shooting was an accident.