Alec Baldwin’s gun was not tested before use

AmericaAssistant director Dave Halls told police he didn’t double-check the gun before giving Alec Baldwin to do the action.

October 27, NY Times revealed many new points about the investigation process of the film crew Rust. Police found debris suspected to be a bullet from a wound on director Joel Souza’s shoulder. They believe this is also what caused the death of female director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza used the term “projectile fragment” because no final autopsy results were available.

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Representative said at a press conference on October 27. Photo: NY Times

Police said there were about 100 people on set when the accident happened. In which, 16 people near the Hutchins location were hit by bullets. According to the results of the initial investigation, props officer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the one who prepared the gun for Alec Baldwin. Dave Halls directly took the prepared colt gun and gave it to the actor. You shouted “cold gun”, meaning no bullets.

Assistant director Dave Halls admitted he didn’t double-check the gun, which he should have done according to safety procedures. After the gun exploded, Halls immediately picked it up and showed it to Gutierrez-Reed. He said that he saw four bullets in the revolver which were fake bullets (marked by punching holes in the bullet body). Halls says a ball in a swivel has no holes. However, Halls was told that the bullet was an empty shell with no detonator.

Describing safety procedures on set, Halls said he often asked Hannah Gutierrez-Reed to open the gun for him to inspect. “I looked at the objects stuck in the barrel. She (Hannah) opened and rotated the magazine. Then I would inform the crew that the gun was cold,” Halls told police.

Assistant director Dave Halls.  Photo: Dave Halls Twitter

Assistant director Dave Halls. Photo: Dave Halls Twitter

Follow NY Times, Dave Halls is an experienced studio staff in Hollywood, having participated in many projects such as Fargo, The Matrix Reloaded… However, he was repeatedly complained by colleagues for violating safety rules. In 2019, Halls was fired from the team Freedom’s Path for letting a gun explode on set, leaving a crew member with minor injuries. The production company Rocket Soul Studios confirmed the information.

Props worker Hannah Gutierrez-Reed claims to have thoroughly checked the guns before placing them on the table and going to lunch. She said she installed fake ammunition and tried to shoot them all just to be safe. These bullets have the same appearance as real bullets but do not contain gunpowder or detonators.

October 21st, team Rust Alec Baldwin’s shooting scene. After that, they took a lunch break before returning to work, which is also when the incident happened. Gutierrez-Reed says not many people have access to gun props. She also insisted that there were never real bullets on set.

*See more: The reason gun props can be deadly

Props staff Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.  Photo: Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Twitter

Props staff Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Photo: Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Twitter

Follow NY Times, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (24 years old) is the daughter of Thell Reed, a gun expert who has worked as a consultant for many Hollywood film crews. She followed her father to learn a trade from the age of 16. Gutierrez-Reed used to be the head of the project props team The Old Way by Nicolas Cage.

Investigators also said they found a colt (revolving pistol) used by Alec Baldwin. Police revealed that about 500 bullets were found on the set. They turned over the evidence to the FBI lab on suspicion of live ammunition mixed in with them. Prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies said the case could be criminally prosecuted if enough evidence is found.

The set of Alec Baldwin's accident

Bonanza Creek studio, where the crash happened. Video: Youtube KOB

Phuong Mai (follow NY Times)


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