An assistant director told Alec Baldwin the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was safe, according to court records.
Baldwin fired the prop weapon on the set of the film Rust, which resulted in the death of Hutchins, 42, and injuries to director Joel Souza, 48, on Thursday (October 21), authorities say.
The actor subsequently shared a statement on social media, expressing his “shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours”.
He added: “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.”
Production on the movie was halted indefinitely to comply with police investigations. It is reported that Baldwin went willingly to the sheriff’s office to provide a statement. “No charges have been filed in regard to the incident,” said sheriff’s office spokesperson Juan Ríos.
Now, official court documents state that assistant director Dave Halls unwittingly handed Balwin the prop gun, indicating that it was safe by shouting “cold gun!” (via the BBC).
Variety, meanwhile, reports that the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) sent out an email to its membership claiming that the weapon contained a “live single round”.
A search warrant filed at a court in Santa Fe, New Mexico yesterday (October 22) provided further details of the investigation. It stated that Baldwin’s blood-stained outfit was taken in as evidence as well as the gun.
According to the Los Angeles Times, half a dozen crew members walked off the set of Rust in protest of working conditions just hours before the fatal incident. The outlet cites sources who claimed that industry-standard safety protocols – including gun inspections – were not strictly followed.
A spokesperson for Rust Movies Productions LLC provided a statement in the wake of Halyna Hutchins’s death, writing: “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones.”