Authorities issue search warrant for Alec Baldwin's cellphone in connection with fatal shooting

New Mexico wants to search his phone for information on the "Rust" shooting.

December 17, 2021, 12:40 AM

Authorities in New Mexico have issued a search warrant for actor Alec Baldwin's cellphone as they probe the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust."

The cellphone is believed to be in the actor's possession, according to the warrant, and authorities want to look at text messages sent from the presumed iPhone by Baldwin.


Alec Baldwin: Unscripted

Actor Alec Baldwin sits down in his first interview since the fatal accident on the set of the movie "Rust".

“We are confident that the evidence will show that Mr. Baldwin is not responsible civilly or criminally for what occurred on October 21, and he continues to cooperate with authorities," Aaron Dyer. Baldwin’s civil attorney, said in a statement Thursday night. "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."

"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," continued Dyer in the statement.

Baldwin’s exclusively interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos is now streaming on Hulu.

Investigators are also seeking to seize photos and videos, emails, internet browser histories, GPS data and more, according to the warrant.

Santa Fe County is investigating the shooting. No charges have been filed, though none have been ruled out, either.

Judge David A. Segura approved the search warrant on Thursday afternoon.

In her affidavit, Detective Alexandra Hancock said she asked Baldwin and his attorney for the phone and was "instructed to acquire a warrant."

A search of Hutchins' phone found conversations about the production dating back to July 14, according to the affidavit.

Hancock said she believes there may be information on the phone "material and relevant to this investigation," and that gathering information prior to the film's production "is essential for a full investigation," the affidavit stated.

PHOTO: Alec Baldwin on Oct. 30, 2021, in Manchester, Vt.
Alec Baldwin on Oct. 30, 2021, in Manchester, Vt.
Mega/GC Images via Getty Images, FILE

Baldwin shot Hutchins on Oct. 21 during a dress rehearsal for the Western, which he was producing and starring in. The movie was directed by Joel Souza, who was also injured in the shooting.

Baldwin thought he was handling a "cold gun" -- one without ammunition -- on set when it apparently went off, with a live bullet striking Hutchins.

"Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property," Baldwin told ABC News earlier this month. "Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."

PHOTO: Alec Baldwin speaks at an event on Dec. 9, 2021, in New York.
Alec Baldwin speaks at an event on Dec. 9, 2021, in New York.
Evan Agostini/Invision via AP

Baldwin downplayed the possibility of any criminal charges during the interview.

"I've been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it's highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally," he said.

Last month, investigators searched an Albuquerque prop house as a potential source of the live ammunition found on the set, according to the search warrant affidavit. The owner of the prop house has denied providing live ammunition to the production.

ABC News' Matt Fuhrman and Jen Watts contributed to this report.

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