Assistant director on ‘Rust’ set told police he didn’t check all the rounds in the Colt revolver before handing it to Alec Baldwin

https://www.yahoo.com/news/assistant-director-rust-set-told-162608195.html

The assistant director on the “Rust” set told cops that he didn’t check all the rounds in the Colt revolver used by Alec Baldwin.

Assistant director David Halls “advised he should have checked all of them,” according to a new affidavit.

Baldwin fired a gun on the movie set last week, fatally shooting a cinematographer.

The assistant director on the New Mexico set of Alec Baldwin’s “Rust” movie told police that he did not check all the rounds in the barrel of the Colt revolver used in last week’s deadly shooting to make sure they were all dummy bullets, according to a newly filed court document.

Assistant director David Halls told police that when the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “showed him” the firearm, used by Baldwin in the on-set shooting, “before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” according to a new affidavit obtained by Insider that was filed Wednesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

Halls “advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t and couldn’t recall” if Gutierrez-Reed “spun the drum” of the gun, said the affidavit that was included in search warrant documents for a “prop truck” on the movie set.

When authorities with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office asked Halls about the safety protocol on the set in regards to firearms, Halls said, “I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there’s no live fire,” according to the affidavit.

Halls said that Gutierrez-Reed “opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say ‘cold gun’ on set,” the document states.

Halls did not immediately respond to a request from Insider for comment on Wednesday.

Baldwin, who was producing and starring in the Western flick, was rehearsing a scene for the film at Santa Fe’s Bonanza Creek Ranch on October 21 when he fired the gun, fatally shooting the cinematographer and wounding the director, authorities said.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that the gun was a .45 Long Colt revolver fired by Baldwin loaded with a live bullet.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot in the chest and killed, while director Joel Souza was hit in the right shoulder in the incident. Police are still investigating and have not ruled out charges yet.

Authorities said Wednesday that the “lead projectile” was recovered from Souza’s shoulder. Mendoza added it was “apparently the same round” that struck both Hutchins and Souza.

A previously filed affidavit said when Halls handed the gun to Baldwin before the incident, Halls yelled out “cold gun,” indicating that it did not contain any live rounds.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez-Reed told authorities that on the day of the shooting she checked the “dummies” and “ensured they were not ‘hot’ rounds,” according to the affidavit filed Wednesday.

According to the document, when the crew broke for lunch that day, the firearms on set were taken back and “secured inside a safe on the ‘prop truck.'”

“During lunch, [Gutierrez-Reed] stated the ammo was left on a cart on the set, not secured,” the affidavit says.

Gutierrez-Reed told investigators that after lunch, a crewmember, identified as Sarah Zachary, “pulled the firearms out of the safe inside the truck, and handed them to her.”

The armorer told cops that only a few people have access and the combination to the safe, the document says.

“During the course of filming, Hannah advised she handed the gun to Alec Baldwin a couple times, and also handed it to David Halls,” the affidavit said. “When Affiant asked about live ammo on set, Hannah responded no live ammo is ever kept on set.”

Mendoza said Wednesday that police recovered about 500 rounds of ammunition – which includes blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds – from the “Rust” set as part of their investigation.

“We know there was one live round, as far as we’re concerned, on set,” Mendoza said.

After the shooting occurred inside a church building on the movie set, Halls picked up the gun and took it to Gutierrez-Reed, the new affidavit says.

“Hannah then was told to ‘open’ the gun so he could see what was inside. David advised he could only remember seeing at least four ‘dummy’ casings with the hole on the side, and one without the hole,” according to the document.

Halls “advised this round did not have the ‘cap’ on it and was just the casing,” the document states. “David advised the incident was not a deliberate act.”

October 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Guns. Leave a comment.

‘Rust’ Shooting: Gun That Killed Halyna Hutchins Was Used That Morning for Live-Ammo Target Practice

https://www.thewrap.com/halyna-hutchins-live-ammo-target-practice/

‘Rust’ Shooting: Gun That Killed Halyna Hutchins Was Used That Morning for Live-Ammo Target Practice

Crew members had gone ”plinking“ and returned the gun to the set, an insider tells TheWrap

By Sharon Waxman and Brian Welk

October 25, 2021

The gun that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last Thursday was used by crew members that morning for live-ammunition target practice, an individual with knowledge of the set told TheWrap.

A number of crew members had taken prop guns from the New Mexico set of the indie Western — including the gun that killed Hutchins — to go “plinking,” a hobby in which people shoot at beer cans with live ammunition to pass the time, the insider said.

The shooting happened just a few hours later, when lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a revolver after first assistant director David Halls confirmed that it was a “cold gun,” meaning that the gun did not have any live ammunition in it.

Search warrants issued over the weekend by New Mexico authorities said that Halls had grabbed one of three prop guns set up by armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and yelled “cold gun” as he handed it to lead actor Alec Baldwin, indicating that the gun did not have any live rounds.

Baldwin, who was rehearsing a scene for the film, was “pointing the revolver towards the camera lens” when it hit director Joel Souza and Hutchins, according to the search warrant made public on Sunday. Hutchins grabbed her midsection and then stumbled backwards as she was assisted to the ground, Souza told authorities. Souza, who was also injured when the gun discharged, was released from a local hospital that night.

Asked for comment, the producers of “Rust” referred to a previous statement: “The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”

The details of the tragic shooting death of the 42-year-old cinematographer seemed only to get more disturbing on Monday as eyewitness accounts have raced through the Hollywood guilds and tight-knit indie community.

The new warrants confirmed that several members of the film’s camera crew had walked off the set earlier that day after complaining about housing, payment and working conditions — forcing producers to scramble to find a new crew.

According to the insider, a walkout by crew members from the below-the-line IATSE union would ordinarily trigger a shutdown of the entire production for 24-48 hours. Instead producers chose to hire non-union replacements to continue the shoot.

Reid Russel, whom the warrant identifies as a cameraman who was standing next to Hutchins and Souza as the gun discharged, said that the crew wrote a letter to the production over the disagreements and that after stepping out for five minutes after returning from lunch, the team was already in possession of the firearm preparing for the scene. He was unsure if it had been checked again in that time.

The police investigation is ongoing.

October 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Guns. Leave a comment.