Halyna Hutchins death: Weapons expert theorizes about live round in Alec Baldwin’s gun on ‘Rust’ set
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO: An experienced prop master has explained how he thinks that the gun which was used by Alec Baldwin on the set of 'Rust' came to be loaded with actual bullets before the movie's cinematographer was fatally shot. In October 2021, Halyna Hutchins was shot in the chest and Baldwin, 64, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for her death. The shot was reportedly fired by the actor while holding the gun during an on-set rehearsal.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who served as the film's weapons supervisor was also charged alongside Baldwin and is facing identical counts. Prosecutors cited a pattern of "criminal disregard for safety" on the set of Rust while announcing the charges earlier this month and that neither Baldwin nor Gutierrez-Reed "did their jobs" properly. "If they had just done their basic duties, we wouldn't be standing here," said Sante Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, according to The Sun.
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David Halls, the assistant director of the film already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of the negligent use of a deadly weapon in a deal with prosecutors. Baldwin apparently got the gun from Halls in the final moments before Hutchins was killed. The assistant director handed over the gun declaring it "cold" or unloaded before the fateful shot was fired, according to an affidavit.
What did the prop master say?
Bill Davis, veteran prop master said that he completely backs the attorney general's decision to charge Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. He says that he would expect the prosecutors to come for him "with both barrels" if he had made the same alleged "mistakes" as the pair and Hall. "They had crew members leaving the set because it was unsafe [...] it was a s**tshow," he said.
Davis theorized how the live round came to be loaded into Baldwin's gun. "[Gutierrez-Reed] was apparently letting people shoot live ammunition earlier in the day, nearby", he speculated. "So what I think happened is somebody had some live ammunition left over in their pocket and they didn’t want to carry it around anymore. So when they got back to where the girl’s prop cart is, I think they saw a box with dummy rounds in it - which look identical to live rounds - and probably just threw them in there. But the thing is when you say the gun is 'cold' or clear, why is there a dummy round in there to begin with? You never rehearse with dummy rounds - ever."
More additional details are expected to come out in the upcoming days which will detail the events that unfolded before Hutchins' death. 150 live rounds of ammunition were found by the investigators on the set by the investigators and live ammunition had been loaded into the gun instead of dummy rounds.
Many people who were present on the set at the time also claimed that Baldwin's prop gun had been used for live ammunition target practice or "plinking" on the morning of the fatal shooting.
Who is accountable for Hutchins' death?
The prop veteran considers that Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed, and Halls are equally accountable for the tragic demise of Hutchins as they failed to maintain basic safety practices. "The whole show and everyone in charge of it is a disgrace," said Davis before claiming "[Gutierrez-Reed] is the one who's going to be in serious trouble because she failed to do her job. The first AD failed to do his job and Alec Baldwin failed to do his. "
He added, "Clearly nobody inspected the weapon [properly], so they’re all guilty. You can never take anybody's word on [whether the gun is cold or not]. You always physically examine it yourself, or in other words, 'show me the gun, let me see the chamber, let me make sure it's all clear,' but [it appears] nobody did that - and that's a big no-no."