Rust assistant director David Halls has broken his silence over the accidental shooting of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s latest film. He was identified as one of the last two people on set, including gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, to handle the propeller gun before giving it to the Hollywood actor moments before the tragedy unfolded.
Halyna tragically died after being shot with a loaded prop gun which also injured director Joel Souza and required emergency hospital treatment.
The devastating accident shocked the world and raised many questions about the use of weapons in movies.
According to court documents that have been widely reported, David announced “cold gun” to indicate he was safe before handing the propeller gun to Alec, 63, to film the scene.
A search warrant also said David told detectives he “should have checked” that all cartridges in the Colt .45 pistol were dummy or inert cartridges, “but did not”.
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He has now expressed how “shocked and saddened” he was when he first spoke publicly.
Speaking to the New York Post on Nov. 1, he paid tribute to the cinematographer, who leaves behind a husband and young son.
“Halyna Hutchins was not only one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” he told the publication.
“I am shocked and saddened by his death. I hope this tragedy inspires the industry to re-evaluate its values and practices to ensure that no one is harmed again by the creative process.”
He also said he was “overwhelmed with love and support”, before adding, “My thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved Halyna”.
The sheriff added that while there was “some complacency” in the way the weapons were handled on set, it’s too early to determine if charges will be brought.
David’s statement comes two days after Alec also spoke to the press for the first time, in which he told reporters the tragedy was “one episode in a trillion”.
He and his wife Hilaria are currently in Vermont mourning the loss of Halyna when they were stopped on a walk.
The American actor said he was advised not to speak directly about the shooting due to the ongoing police investigation, but remembered his friend fondly.
He said: “We were a very, very well-oiled team shooting a movie together and then this horrible thing happened.