Alec Baldwin, a producer and actor, fired a deadly projectile from what was supposed to be a prop gun. It ended up killing 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins outside of Santa Fe during the filming of the movie “Rust”.
This shooting happened as Baldwin was practicing for a scene in the movie. It included him removing a revolver from its holster. He aimed it towards the main camera which wasn’t recording. A loud noise was then heard as Halyna Hutchins was hit in the chest along with the director, Joel Souza.
Hours before the shooting, a total of six members of the film crew protested at the recording site.
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed had set out three prop guns due to COVID-19 safety protocols. David Halls handed one to Baldwin. The weapon had been described to Baldwin as a “cold gun,” meaning it had no live ammo.
Still, Hutchins was dangerously hit. She claimed she couldn’t feel her legs and wasn’t sure if it was a real bullet on the phone with the police after calling 911. Yet after being lifted by a helicopter to the Albuquerque hospital, Halyna Hutchins was pronounced dead.
Before the incident, Alec Baldwin made a video encouraging action against unsafe studio atmospheres and overworking their staff. He repeatedly encouraged them to go on strike.
Halls, the assistant director, has a record of being unsafe during his working in past movies. In his work in “Freedom’s Path”, there was a mysterious discharge of a gun. In “The Pale Door”, he had no safety plans for a tornado while filming in a tornado zone.
Yet whether the gun used was real or a prop, its effects were detrimental.
A search warrant went out and the authorities found three black revolvers, nine spent casings, ammunition, and loose ammo in a tray.
Since this incident, there has been a widespread call to make safer working conditions on movie sets. This tragedy has led movie stars including Dwayne Johnson to propose to only use rubber bullets in future productions.
Now as a larger solution, a California senator has announced plans for a legislation banning live ammunition and real firearms on movie sets along with theatrical productions in California.
Despite what has happened, the recording of the movie has been postponed and not officially cancelled. Investigations are still underway on the gun used and no lawsuits are official.