Alec Baldwin Turns Over Key Item to Police Amid 'Rust' Shooting Investigation

Alec Baldwin surrendered his cell phone to authorities on Friday as a part of the investigation into the deadly shooting on the set of the movie Rust. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, Baldwin handed over his cell phone to police in Suffolk County, New York who will gather what evidence they can from it and share that information with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in New Mexico. However, critics point out that a search warrant for Baldwin's things was issued weeks ago.

"Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation. But this matter isn't about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong," Baldwin's civil attorney Aaron Dyer told NBC News. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office told ET that it had made multiple attempts to retrieve Baldwin's phone, but that the actor "had not immediately provided his phone pursuant to the initial search warrant." The search warrant was approved on Dec. 16.

So far, no data has been shared between the Suffolk County police and Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, but the process is underway. Dyer did not comment on how long it took Baldwin to hand over his phone. He emphasized his stance that Baldwin was not at fault in the shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

"It is clear that he was told it was a cold gun, and was following instructions when this tragic accident occurred. The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place," Dyer said.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office reportedly sought help from the Santa Fe District Attorney's Office to compel Baldwin to hand over his phone when it was collected with the other initial evidence. The Sheriff's Office told ET that it could not force the issue "due to jurisdictional concerns," and said that the D.A.'s Office "was in negotiations with Mr. Baldwin's attorney to obtain consent to retrieve the phone and its contents."

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Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of Rust back in October. He has since given a televised interview with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, where he said that he never even pulled the trigger on the gun. He questioned why there was a live bullet on the set, saying no live rounds were even "supposed to be on the property." Multiple lawsuits in connection with the shooting are underway, but the criminal investigation is still underway.