3 Accidental Gun Discharges Occurred on ‘Rust’ Set Before Alec Baldwin Fatal Shooting: “This Is Super Unsafe”
This week on the set of the movie Rust, which was filming in New Mexico, actor Alec Baldwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun that unexpectedly fired a live round, resulting in the death of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Following the tragic event, she was airlifted to a hospital, where she later died. Director Joel Souza, who was standing near Hutchins, was also hit but has reportedly been released from the hospital.
Santa Fe police are investigating the chain of events that led to the incident. According to the Associated Press, an assistant director unwittingly handed Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use just moments before the shooting, court records released Friday show.
“Cold gun,” the assistant director announced, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court.
The warrant does not implicate assistant director Dave Halls, claiming that he didn’t know the gun was loaded, but states that the weapon was one of three that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart near the set.
In a recent interview, Gutierrez had expressed self-doubt as a film armorer since she was new to the job, according to TMZ. “You know, I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready … but, doing it, like, it went really smoothly,” she said on the “Voices of the West” podcast last month.
Santa Fe Police removed evidence from the scene, including Baldwin’s blood-stained costume from the film, the gun that was fired, as well as other prop guns and ammo being used on set.
Hours before the tragedy, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions. Some of their complaints included long hours, long commutes and waiting for their paychecks, according to inside sources. Most pertinent was their qualms with safety protocols including gun inspections, not being strictly followed on set. At least one of the camera operators reportedly complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set. The LAT reports that someone on set was alarmed by the prop gun misfires and communicated their concerns to the unit production manager via text message. “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by the LAT.
Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor