'Rust' Movie Crew Member Did Not Fully Check Whether Prop Gun Had Live Ammo - Warrant

'Rust' Movie Crew Member Did Not Fully Check Whether Prop Gun Had Live Ammo - Warrant

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th October, 2021) David Halls, an assistant director in the movie "Rust," did not conduct a full safety inspection of the prop gun that was used when actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal on set last week, according to a new search warrant Sputnik obtained on Wednesday from the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office.

"During an interview with David Halls, when Affiant asked David about the safety protocol on set in regards to firearms, he advised, 'I check the barrel for obstruction most of the time there's no live fire, she (Hannah) opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say cold gun on set,'" the affidavit for the search warrant said. "David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds. He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn't, and couldn't recall if she spun the drum."

The affidavit said one of the armorers on the movie set, Hannah Gutierrez, inspected the prop guns on the movie set to ensure they were not loaded with live rounds prior to the incident.

However, when the crew went on a lunch break the day of the incident, the firearms were put away inside a safe on set, but the ammo was left on a cart that was not secured, the affidavit said. The affidavit said, according to Gutierrez, that only a few people on set know the combination to open the safe that holds the firearms.

Gutierrez told police that no live ammo is ever kept on set, the affidavit said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in a press conference that they suspect multiple rounds of ammunition were found on set, but the evidence needed to be analyzed and confirmed by the FBI. Authorities said everyone has been cooperating with the investigation and charged will be filed if they determine a crime occurred.

The director of the movie Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting, said he heard a "whip and then a loud pop" when Baldwin fired the prop gun at the time of the fatal rehearsal scene, according to the affidavit.

Souza told investigators he vaguely remembers Hutchins complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection and stumbling backwards until she was assisted to the ground. He remembers he could see blood on Hutchins, the affidavit said.

A camera man on set, Reid Russel, told investigators Hutchins was saying she could not feel her legs after she was hot.

The camera crew was having issues with production regarding payment and housing, the affidavit said citing Russel. He told detectives that on the day of the incident the camera crew was short staffed to about six people because had walked out on the film over disagreements with the production team.

Russel told police everyone seemed to be getting along around the time of the incident and pointed out that Baldwin was very careful with the prop guns.