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Movie Director Who Was Shot by Alec Baldwin Says It Felt Like Being Hit by a Baseball Bat

Eddie Moore Director Joel Souza testifies in the trial against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in state district court in Santa Fe, N.M., on Friday, March 1, 2024. Gutierrez-Reed was working as the armorer on the movie “Rust” when actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded Souza. Gutierrez-Reed is fighting involuntary manslaughter and tampering with

Movie Director Who Was Shot by Alec Baldwin Says It Felt Like Being Hit by a Baseball Bat

Eddie Moore

Eddie Moore

Director Joel Souza testifies within the trial in opposition to Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in state district court docket in Santa Fe, N.M., on Friday, March 1, 2024. Gutierrez-Reed was working because the armorer on the film “Rust” when actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded Souza. Gutierrez-Reed is preventing involuntary manslaughter and tampering with proof expenses. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal by way of AP, Pool)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A film director who was shot by Alec Baldwin throughout a film rehearsal — and survived — testified Friday at trial that he was approaching the cinematographer when he heard a loud bang and felt the bullet’s affect.

“It felt like somebody had taken a baseball bat to my shoulder,” mentioned Joel Souza, who was wounded by the identical bullet that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set for the upcoming Western film “Rust” on Oct. 21, 2021.

Souza by no means filed a grievance however was referred to as to testify as prosecutors pursue expenses of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with proof in opposition to film weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who maintains her innocence. Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer on “Rust,” was individually indicted by a grand jury final month. He has pleaded not responsible, and a trial is scheduled for July.

Prosecutors are reconstructing a fancy chain of occasions that culminated in gunfire on a movie set the place dwell ammunition is expressly prohibited.

Souza mentioned his workday started earlier than daybreak with the conclusion that six camera-crew members had walked off set. Hutchins put out pressing requires replacements, and filming was again underway by late-morning in an out of doors scene involving horses and wagons.

Work after lunch began with positioning a digicam in preparation for an excessive close-up take of Baldwin drawing a gun from a holster inside a makeshift church. Souza mentioned he moved in behind Hutchins for a more in-depth take a look at the digicam angle however by no means noticed the gun that shot him.

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“I obtained up behind her simply to attempt to see on the monitor, and there was an extremely loud bang,” Souza mentioned. “This was deafening.”

Baldwin and his dealing with of firearms on set are coming underneath particular scrutiny in questioning by prosecutor and protection attorneys.

On Thursday, prosecutors performed video footage of Baldwin pressuring the film armorer to rush up as she reloads weapons between scenes.

“Another, let’s reload instantly,” Baldwin says on the shut of a scene. “Right here we go, come on. We should always have had two weapons and each had been reloading.”

Gutierrez-Reed might be seen shortly loading a revolver.

Professional witness Bryan Carpenter, a Mississippi-based specialist in firearms security on movie units, mentioned Baldwin’s instructions infringed on primary trade security protocols and duties of the armorer.

“He is mainly instructing the armorer on methods to do their job … ‘Hurry up, give it to me quick,’” Carpenter mentioned. “Speeding with firearms and telling somebody to hurry with firearms is just not — not regular or accepted.”

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On Friday, protection lawyer Jason Bowles pressed Souza to recollect whether or not the script explicitly referred to as for Baldwin to level the gun towards the digicam, the place he and Hutchins had been standing.

“And are you aware whether or not, from the script, whether or not that firearm was speculated to be pointed in the direction of the digicam?” Bowles inquired.

“It’s not a matter of the script, actually. For that particular shot, it was actually speculated to be the gun being pulled out sideways,” Souza mentioned.

Prosecutors say Gutierrez-Reed is in charge for unwittingly bringing dwell ammunition on set and that she flouted primary security protocols for weapons — partly by leaving the church rehearsal whereas a gun nonetheless was in use. Protection attorneys say it wasn’t Gutierrez-Reed’s choice to depart.

Souza mentioned he solely recalled seeing Gutierrez-Reed contained in the church after he was shot.

“I keep in mind at one level wanting up and her standing there … distraught,” Souza mentioned. “I keep in mind her saying, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Joel.’ And I keep in mind any individual simply screaming at her, they usually simply ushered her out.’”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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