Baldwin case: assistant director already dismissed for accident involving a weapon

the essential In 2019, Dave Halls, assistant director of the film “Rust” had been dismissed from the shooting of the film “Freedom’s Path” because of an accident with a firearm. This time, it would be him who would have given the weapon responsible for the death of the director of photography of the film “Rust” to Alec Baldwin.

New elements appear in the affair that rocked Hollywood. According to the production company, which unveiled its latest information this Monday 25 October, the assistant director who gave Alec Baldwin the weapon responsible for the death of the cinematographer on the set of “Rust” last week had already been fired from a previous film for an accident involving a gun.

“Dave Halls was fired from filming Freedom’s Path in 2019 after a crew member sustained minor injuries when a gun was accidentally fired,” said a producer of the film, which is yet to be released. “Halls was kicked off the set immediately after the prop shot. Production did not resume filming until Dave left the scene,” the source added, adding that a report written was done at the time.

The police investigation, still ongoing, has not yet clarified the responsibilities of those present on 000 October on the Santa Fe ranch ( New Mexico) during the filming of “Rust”. No prosecution has been initiated at this point but attention is focused on those who handled the weapon before the fatal shot, in particular Dave Halls and the chief gunsmith of the shoot, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24 years. Specialists emphasize that the role of a gunsmith is to constantly watch over the firearms present on the set and to check at all stages whether they are loaded or not.

According to The Wrap, a site specializing in entertainment, which cites sources close to the shooting of “Rust”, the weapon which killed Halyna Hutchins had however been used only a few hours before the fatal shot by members of the team “to pass the time “by shooting beer cans. The very strict rules of the film industry in this area, however, prohibit any presence of live ammunition on a film set, precisely to avoid this type of accident. The production of “Rust” had not reacted this Monday afternoon.

“Negligence and lack of professionalism”

The investigators were able to clarify the course of events after hearing the various witnesses. According to the first statements, Alec Baldwin “was sitting on a bench in a church setting, and he was practicing drawing” in front of the camera. Director Joel Souza was looking over the shoulder of the 42 -year-old cinematographer, who was shot in the torso on Thursday and was pronounced dead hours later. Injured in the shoulder by the shooting, Joel Souza said he heard what sounded like “the sound of a whip, and a big + pan +” while standing behind the victim.

After the shot, the filmmaker “grabbed the abdomen” and said she could no longer feel her legs, the director said, adding that she had “started to stagger back”. Assistant director Dave Halls had announced that the weapon was “cold”, that is to say supposed to be empty and therefore harmless in cinema jargon. Joel Souza, however, said “he was not sure” that the weapon had undergone another security check after the team’s lunch break. In any case, a gunshot was fired, an accident that sent shockwaves through Hollywood. According to investigators, Dave Halls said he did not know that live ammunition was in the gun.

It was Hannah Gutierrez Reed, a 24 year-old movie gunsmith, who had prepared the gun, and placed it on a cart with two other weapons. The chief electrician of the shooting, Serge Svetnoy, blasted on Facebook a drama caused by “negligence and lack of professionalism”, considering that she was too young to “be a professional in weapons”. “To save money, we sometimes hire people who are not fully qualified for a complicated and dangerous job,” he accuses.

Guillaume Delouche, a Hollywood gunsmith for nearly 30 years, said he was “very surprised” that someone of this age and with only two films to his credit, “could to be the chief gunsmith on a film which must contain a lot of scenes of combat with firearms “. The drama revived the debate on the safety of the teams and the use of weapons on the sets. A petition on the site, calling for a ban on live firearms on filming and for better working conditions for the crews, had collected nearly 29. 000 signatures Monday afternoon.

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