The latest updates regarding the recent shooting involving actor and producer Alec Baldwin.
Cinematographer Halyna Hunt was tragically killed by a fatal gunshot wound after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun he believed was unloaded. Here are the latest updates regarding potential charges and evolving case details.
October 21, 2021
While on set filming the independent feature film “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, N.M., assistant director David Halls hands Alec Baldwin one of three prop guns allegedly checked by head armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for an upcoming scene. Halls shouts the remark “cold gun,” letting the cast and crew know an unloaded gun is being used on set.
As Baldwin begins rehearsing for a scene involving gunfire, he aims his revolver toward the camera and fires what he believes to be an empty firearm. However, to everyone’s shock, the gun actively fires — striking cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest and director Joel Souza in the shoulder, according to The New York Times.
Following the incident, 42-year-old Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she passed away, says Variety. 48-year old Souza was taken to a Santa Fe hospital via ambulance and was released the next day.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 63-year-old Baldwin was willingly taken to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office for questioning, where he was seen speaking on the phone in tears.
October 22, 2021
The Los Angeles Times receives word from sources close to the project that problems regarding unsafe working conditions had been an issue on set prior to the incident. The sources, who requested to stay anonymous, share that half a dozen camera crew members arrived on set the morning of the 21st to collect their equipment and belongings before leaving the project entirely.
Sources say that between long hours, poor working conditions, unfollowed COVID-19 protocols, and delayed paychecks, the crew members had been growing gradually frustrated by this unfair treatment. Additionally, the same sources report the crew members felt unsafe after two incidental prop gun discharges occurred on Saturday, Oct. 16, by Baldwin’s stunt double who was told the gun was not loaded.
Rust Movie Productions makes a statement reported by The Los Angeles Times that they “were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set,” and plan to conduct “an internal review of [their] procedures while production is shut down.”
Additionally, Baldwin announces that he is in contact with Hutchins’ family and goes to Twitter to share his grief.
October 23, 2021
CNN reports that Gutierrez, the head armorer on the project, had only recently begun working in the position and had worked on only one prior film. On the film, “The Old Way,” starring Nicolas Cage, she was “the subject of numerous complaints,” according to The Wrap.
Sources tell The Daily Beast that Halls’ negligence as assistant director, a lack of care for safety protocol, and the production’s “low-budget and cost-cutting measures” play a large role in the incident occurring. According to another source close to the project, it was Halls’ responsibility as the last person handling the gun before giving it to Baldwin to double-check it was unloaded.
“He’s supposed to be our last line of defense and he failed us,” the source tells The Daily Beast. “He’s the last person that’s supposed to look at that firearm.”
October 25, 2021
CNN speaks with IATSE Local 44 prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, Maggie Goll regarding her previous experiences with assistant director David Halls.
“The only reason the crew was made aware of a weapon’s presence was because the assistant prop master demanded Dave acknowledge and announce the situation each day,” Goll’s statement reads.
She further tells CNN that Halls “neglected to hold safety meetings and consistently failed to announce the presence of a firearm on set to the crew, as is protocol.”
October 26, 2021
After thoroughly investigating the scene, prosecutors tell Reuters that an “enormous amount of bullets” had been recovered from the set and the current investigation aims to find out more about the nature of that discovery.
Carmack-Altwies also tells The New York Times that the term “prop gun” is being incorrectly used in the case, clarifying that the gun in question is an “antique-era appropriate gun,” as opposed to one created specifically for prop purposes.
Producers of “Rust” agree to fully cooperate with law enforcement, according to CNN.
October 27, 2021
At the news conference, Sheriff Adan Mendoza of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirms that there were 100 people on set when the shooting occurred, with 16 being in the immediate vicinity of the incident, according to The New York Times.
Mendoza confirms that the gun in question was a .45 Long Colt revolver and announces they have recovered both the weapon and approximately 500 rounds of ammunition from the set.
Meanwhile, Baldwin goes to Twitter to retweet a tweet made by The New York Times in which they share an article speaking about Baldwin’s innocence. The article reports that, according to the affidavit, the “gun handed to Alec Baldwin was not thoroughly checked,” and that Halls himself told a detective that “he should have inspected each round in each chamber…But he did not.”
The Times article also reports that Gutierrez-Reed claims “no live ammo is ever kept on set,” and that she checked the dummy rounds (rounds containing no primer or gunpowder) on the day of shooting and confirmed they were not hot before being used on set.
However, according to the affidavit, she also states the crew took a lunch break after she had checked the weapons and — though the actual firearms were secured inside a safe that few people have access to at this time — some of the ammunition was left “not secured.”
Similar to earlier days in the case, no criminal charges have been filed. According to the Independent, the main focus of the investigation is currently “on how live ammunition came to be on the set of the movie project where the fatal incident took place.” Altwies continues to ensure that nobody has yet to be ruled out of potential charges as they continue the investigation.