LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Actor Alec Baldwin spoke publicly for the first time Saturday about the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed by a bullet fired from a prop gun fired by Baldwin on the set of the movie “Rust.”

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, shot and killed when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, during production of a western in New Mexico, that was loaded with a live round of ammunition.

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Tracked down by paparazzi on the side of a road in Vermont alongside his wife Hilaria, Baldwin said he couldn’t comment on the investigation into the death, which occurred on Oct. 21 south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe (not to comment on the case). … It’s an active investigation in terms of a woman died, she was my friend,” Baldwin said. “… We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together, and then this horrible event happened.”

Baldwin, appearing annoyed at times when his wife interrupted to chastise reporters, confirmed that he had met with Hutchins’ husband Matthew and the couple’s 9-year-old son, adding that the husband was “overwhelmed with grief.”

“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this,” he continued “This is a one in a trillion episode. It’s a one in a trillion event. … We’re eagerly awaiting for the sheriff’s department to tell us what their investigation has yielded.”

Asked if he would ever work on a film set again that involved the use of real firearms, Baldwin said he wouldn’t know how to answer that question, but added that he is “extremely interested” in “limiting” the use of firearms on movie sets.

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“But remember … how many bullets have been fired in films and TV shows in the last 75 years? This is America. How many bullets have gone off in movies and on TV sets before? How many, billions in the last 75 years? And nearly all of it without incident. So what has to happen now is, we have to realize that when it does go wrong and it’s this horrible, catastrophic thing, some new measures have to take place. Rubber guns, plastic guns, no live — no real armaments on set. That’s not for me to decide. It’s urgent that you understand I’m not an expert in this field, so whatever other people decide is the best way to go in terms of protecting people’s safety on film sets, I’m all in favor of and I will cooperate with that in any way that I can.”

Baldwin added that he doubted production would start up again on “Rust.”

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, armorer on the New Mexico set of the western film “Rust.”

Meanwhile, the armorer on the set of the film, Hannah Gutizerrez Reed, who was responsible for the firearms, has denied reports that crew members had fired live rounds from prop weapons, and insisted she did not know how live ammunition wound up on set.

Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys released a statement that said, in part, that the armorer is “devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired.”

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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