Dave Halls, the assistant director who last Thursday handed over to Alec Baldwin the gun with which he accidentally killed Halyna Hutchins, recognized that did not check the gun before rehearsing the scene because he was convinced it contained fake bullets.
His confession, released Wednesday by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office in the state of New Mexico, USA, would coincide with the hypothesis formulated by the investigators after they confiscated some 500 rounds with ammunition in the filming area, among whom they believe there were real bullets mixed with fake shells.
Unlike blank cartridges, which recreate a weapon explosion, fake bullets do not contain gunpowder and they are only used when the script requires a projectile to appear on the screen.
Precisely, the scene that Baldwin was rehearsing was a close-up of his hand firing the gun towards the camera.
For its part, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, in charge of the production arms department, told the authorities that that same day he had made sure that the weapon contained dummy bullets and indicated that he was not aware that there was live ammunition in the recording studio.
Joel Souza, director of the film “Rust”, was wounded in the shoulder by the bullet that Alec Baldwin fired and that killed Halyna Hutchins
Gutierrez Red, 24, had placed several weapons in a cart during filming. After returning from a lunch break, Halls took one of the guns and handed it to Baldwin yelling “cold gun”, the movie slang to warn that the gun is unloaded, according to the film’s director’s affidavits, Joel Souza, and a cameraman.
However, his version contradicts what was recently expressed by the Sheriff of Santa Fe, Adan mendoza, in a press conference, since among the objects confiscated by his team there are some 500 rounds of ammunition that he described as a mixture of “blank cartridges, fake bullets” and what he suspects could be “real bullets.”
At this stage of the investigation, the authorities of Santa Fe do not dare to give conclusions and they shuffle all the possible scenarios, including the imputation of some of those involved in the filming of the western “Rust”.
When asked by the press about the possible Baldwin’s legal liability, who in addition to being the protagonist of the film is one of the producers, the sheriff stressed that “nothing is ruled out.”
Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza gives a press conference after the tragedy starring Alec Baldwin. Reuters photo
The only confirmation so far is that the pistol that Baldwin fired was a Colt 45 revolver that was stored alongside two other weapons, one modified so that it could not fire live ammunition and another made of plastic.
While the official investigations progress, other details have been known, such as that the assistant who handed the gun to Baldwin was fired from another shoot in 2019 for a similar incident although, fortunately, he did not hurt anyone.
So far, no one has been arrested, nor have any charges been filed for the tragedy.
However, Sheriff Mendoza warned that “the investigation will continue and, if the sheriff’s office determines that there has been a crime and there is probable cause, there will be arrests and charges will be brought“.
For her part, the Santa Fe County Prosecutor, Mary Carmack-AltwiesShe said she was prepared to press charges, “if the investigation so determines,” but emphasized that she does not want to make any hasty decisions.
With information from agencies.