Sad outcome during film casting
Guns should always be handled as being loaded and never be pointed towards anyone one doesn't want to kill.
The gun that actor Alec Baldwin fired on set, killing a woman, was handed to him by a director who told him it was safe, court records show.
Assistant director Dave Halls did not know the prop contained live ammunition and indicated it was unloaded by shouting "cold gun!", the records say.Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot in the chest in Thursday's incident on the set of the film Rust.
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Ms Hutchins, 42, was from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Kyiv, and film in Los Angeles, and was named a "rising star" by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.
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According to the Los Angeles Times , about half a dozen members of the camera crew on Rust walked out hours before the tragedy after protesting over working conditions on the set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
The assistant director of Rust, Dave Halls, had been sacked from a previous production over gun safety violations.
Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot dead Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western last week.
The producers of Freedom's Path confirmed to press agency AFP on Monday that Halls had been dismissed in 2019.
It came after a crew member "incurred a minor and temporary injury when a gun was unexpectedly discharged", the statement said.
The sheriff told reporters there were up to 100 people on the set of the Western film, called Rust, when the shooting happened, and that everyone would be questioned.
"I think the facts are clear - a weapon was handed to Mr Baldwin. The weapon is functional and fired a live round killing Ms Hutchins and injuring Mr Souza," he said.
The sheriff added that a "lead projectile" was recovered from Mr Souza's shoulder and handed over as evidence, as was the firearm, which was fired by Mr Baldwin, and the spent shell casings.
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He said other live rounds of ammunition may have been on the Rust set, but they are yet to be tested in a crime lab.
Of the recovered 500 rounds of ammunition, there was "a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting is live rounds", Sheriff Mendoza said.
"Right now we're going to determine how those got there, why they were there - because they shouldn't have been there," he added.
He confirmed that two other people handled the gun before it was given to Mr Baldwin: the armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and the film's assistant director Dave Halls.
Court records say Mr Halls reportedly called out "cold gun" as he handed over the weapon, meaning it had no live ammunition. The documents said he did not know there were live rounds in the firearm.
The gun that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last Thursday was used by crew members that morning for live-ammunition target practice, an individual with knowledge of the set told TheWrap.
A number of crew members had taken prop guns from the New Mexico set of the indie Western — including the gun that killed Hutchins — to go “plinking,” a hobby in which people shoot at beer cans with live ammunition to pass the time, the insider said.
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The new warrants confirmed that several members of the film’s camera crew had walked off the set earlier that day after complaining about housing, payment and working conditions — forcing producers to scramble to find a new crew.
According to the insider, a walkout by crew members from the below-the-line IATSE union would ordinarily trigger a shutdown of the entire production for 24-48 hours. Instead producers chose to hire non-union replacements to continue the shoot.
Reid Russel, whom the warrant identifies as a cameraman who was standing next to Hutchins and Souza as the gun discharged, said that the crew wrote a letter to the production over the disagreements and that after stepping out for five minutes after returning from lunch, the team was already in possession of the firearm preparing for the scene. He was unsure if it had been checked again in that time.
A lawsuit against Alec Baldwin alleges that a film script did not require him to fire a gun when he fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell - who called police after the shooting on the New Mexico film set - filed the suit.
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Ms Mitchell's lawsuit claims that the script called for three tight camera shots - one of Mr Baldwin's eyes, another of a bloodstain on his shoulder and a third of his torso "as he reached his hand down to the holster and removed the gun".
"There was nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by defendant Baldwin or by any other person," it says.
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