The beginning of an answer. According to a hearing report, assistant director on the film Rust admitted that he had not checked all the bullets in the barrel of the pistol given to Alec Baldwin. On Wednesday, the prosecutor said that no one was “excluded” concerning possible prosecutions, including the actor, author of the shooting who killed the director of photography Halyna Hutchins. The prosecutor believes, however, that it is “too early”, with an investigation continuing.
During his hearing, assistant director Dave Halls explained to police that he had checked the barrel of the pistol, to make sure that no debris was lodged there. But he “only remembers seeing three ammunition, and he said he should have checked them all,” wrote the policeman who questioned him. Halls does not “remember” whether the gunsmith “turned the barrel”.
According to several witnesses, Dave Halls had announced to Alec Baldwin that the weapon was “cold”, which means in the jargon of the cinema that the revolver is empty and harmless. “I think there was a certain carelessness on this set and that there are issues that the (film) industry and perhaps the state (of New Mexico) need to address.” , said Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza.
Fired for an incident on a previous shoot
According to US media, Dave Halls was fired from a previous shoot after a gun-related incident. The gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, had little experience, at only 24 years old. Daughter of a famous Hollywood gunsmith, she had only one film to her credit, with Nicolas Cage, and had confided on a podcast to be “nervous” at the idea of handling weapons on a set.
According to The Wrap, the shooting with Nicolas Cage had gone badly. The young woman would have aroused the anger of the star in particular by firing without warning with a blank loaded weapon, without giving the people around her time to protect their ears.
On the set, investigators found more than 500 ammunition, a mixture of dummy, blank, and, presumably, real bullets. According to The Wrap, a few hours before the tragedy, some members of the team had used the offending revolver to fire live ammunition at cans of beer. Several gunsmiths have insisted in the media: there is no reason, unless you are making a documentary, to have real ammunition on a set, even for a western.