The prop gun that actor/producer Alec Baldwin fired when he accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust” was reportedly given to him by a crew member who had been the target of a safety complaint in 2019.
“Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said in a statement that she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s ‘Into the Dark’ series in 2019 over concerns about assistant director Dave Halls’ behavior on set. Goll said in a phone interview Sunday that Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness on set,” The Associated Press reported. Goll asserted that Hall eschewed holding safety meetings, repeatedly did not tell the crew there was a firearm on the set, and dismissed the actors numerous times before they had returned some weapons to the props table.
Maggie Goll told NBC News, “He did not maintain a safe working environment. Sets were almost always allowed to become increasingly claustrophobic, no established fire lanes, exits blocked … safety meetings were nonexistent.” She added, “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.”
NBC News noted, “The gun Baldwin used that was supposed to contain blanks had misfired before on the New Mexico set, sources familiar with the situation said, prompting several crew members to walk off the set just hours before the incident that killed Hutchins.”
On Saturday, Deadline released a statement from “Rust” director Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting on the set but is recovering. He said, “I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna. She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch, and always pushed me to be better. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time … I am humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out … It will surely aid in my recovery.”
The Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported Saturday of a Hollywood armorer’s comments on the fact that the “cold gun” on the set of “Rust” should not have been loaded, “especially if it’s a rehearsal”:
Bryan Carpenter, an armorer and weapons master in the film industry, told CNN that “cold guns” shouldn’t be loaded, especially during rehearsals. “You have to make sure that the weapon is truly cold, which means there should have been no rounds in there, period. And especially if it’s a rehearsal,” Carpenter told the outlet. Carpenter also insisted that prop guns should be inspected by two people to ensure they’re “cold” before anyone handles them on set.