It was reported late last week that Actor Alec Baldwin was involved in an on set accident that killed one woman and wounded a man, since covering the original story there have been some major updates.
The gist of the original story is that Alec Baldwin, while on the set of his new film “Rust”, accidentally killed the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and wounded the Director, Joel Souza. It was confirmed at the time that Baldwin had been wielding what was referred to as a “prop gun” when this accident occurred. All staff on the set were cooperating with authorities and Alec Baldwin reached out to the family of the victim, Halyna Hutchins, to offer his condolences.
This is the information that was originally part of the story, since its initial breaking there have been some major updates.
One important piece of information that came up was that the gun that was used for the shot had been loaded with a single live round of ammunition. Initial reports had claimed that the gun had a blank and some reports claimed that the gun was loaded with a wax bullet. This information about the gun having been loaded with live ammunition was brought forward by Anthony Pawluc, a member of a local production union. The production company behind “Rust” had initially said the incident involved blanks but the Sheriff’s office said that it was too early to determine what kind of ammunition was used.
Brandon Lee was accidentally killed on the set of “The Crow” when part of a dummy round left the barrel of a gun, so it is possible that this is what happened here if the local production union has inaccurate information.
Another piece of information that has since come forward is that Alec Baldwin was told that the firearm he was handling was safe. According to an affidavit signed by Detective Joel Cano of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office, an assistant director picked up one of three prop firearms on a table and handed it to Baldwin before saying “Cold Guns!”, this was supposed to indicate that the firearm was safe to handle and was not loaded.
Possibly the most important piece of information to come up since initial reporting was that fact that the film’s Armorer was “inexperienced” and had previously had on-set mishaps.
It is being reported that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the set of “Rust”, was inexperienced and had previously had a major mishap on another film. According to two separate sources, filming on Gutierrez-Reed’s last film was cut short after she handed an 11-year-old a gun without properly clearing it. One source also told The Daily Beast that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again.” This careless behavior was alleged to have happened on the set of “The Old Way” an upcoming Nicolas Cage film.
It is also being reported that this was not the first time accidental discharges had happened on set. According to two separate individuals on the set of “Rust“, there were other crew members who were handed prop guns that went off on set, thankfully no one was killed in those incidents.
Based on the current trajectory of how the media and production team is handling things, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will be taking the bulk of the blame for this tragedy and could face serious legal trouble. This being said, more than Gutierrez-Reed is at fault for this incident. The assistant director that handed Alec Baldwin the gun should have cleared it, Alec Baldwin himself should have cleared the gun prior to the shot, and there should not have been any live ammunition on set to begin with. This incident was a total failure of all involved and should go to show the importance of knowing how to handle firearms in a safe manner.