David Halls, the Assistant Director who allegedly handed Alec Baldwin the loaded gun on the set of Rust that ended the life of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins and injured Director Joel Souza, has broken his silence for the first time since the fatal shooting .
“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” Halls said in a statement issued to the New York Post. “I’m shocked and saddened by her death. It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.”
The news outlet also reveals that the Rust Assistant Director has been “overwhelmed by the love and support,” adding that his “thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna.”
As per an affidavit filed in Santa Fe County, where Rust was being shot, Halls does not remember how thoroughly he checked the gun that was later handed to Baldwin, though he is well aware that he should have given the firearm an extensive check regardless.
“David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” reads the aforementioned affidavit. “He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum.”
However, according to an alleged insider who spoke to the New York Post, two members of the film’s staff not only told investigators that they “never saw Halls remove the gun from the armorer’s cart during an investigation into the incident,” but also denied Halls had declared the gun “cold” before giving it to Baldwin.
On the day of the shooting, sources told Deadline that Baldwin was completely unaware that the gun he had been handed was loaded, revealing that Souza had been hit in the shoulder, while Hutchins had been “airlifted to the hospital for stomach surgery,” after Baldwin was handed the loaded firearm, reportedly completely unaware of its loaded status.
In a statement issued in the wake of the firing, a spokesperson from Rust Movie Productions LLC told media outlets, “There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” adding, “Two crew members have been taken to the hospital and are receiving care.”
“Production has been halted for the time being,” the spokesperson’s statement concluded. “The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
Additionally, a week after the shooting, the film’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, issued a statement via her lawyer, Jason Bowles.
In the statement, Bowles asserted that his client “would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna.”
“She was an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to,” the statement continued. “She also offers her thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Joel. Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired.”
Further, the statement reassured those concerned that the 24-year-old armourer had “no idea where the live rounds came from,” adding that she had never “witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns,” and nor would she ever permit it.
While it is true that Baldwin was the one to pull the trigger and kill Hutchins, charges could not only be filed against him, but also Halls and Gutierrez-Reed.
However, the investigation by authorities at the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s department is currently ongoing, and as of writing, no charges have been filed.
Additionally, Baldwin is also the film’s Executive Producer, a role which demands that he is informed of every detail regarding the film’s production. As such, it’s plausible that negligence on his behalf may end up being a relevant factor as the investigation moves forward.
What do you make of Halls’ comments on Baldwin’s shooting accident? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media!