Reports surrounding the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins indicate that the round that killed Hutchins and wounded one other was at least the third misfire from a firearm on the movie set.
According to a report in The Washington Examiner, the movie Rust had multiple gun inspection and safety concerns that were not up to typical standards in the industry, and at least two gun misfires happened on Saturday before the shooting.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two bullets from the gun that he was told was not loaded with live ammo, according to reports from several members of the crew.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” a crew member told the newspaper. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
Just hours before the shooting that killed the 42-year-old mother and cinematographer several members of the camera crew left to protest the safety of the production, as well as poor working conditions on the film where Baldwin is reportedly credited as both actor and producer.
“They did everything they absolutely could to save a nickel at all costs,” a source told the Daily Beast.
“They put everybody in jeopardy in one way or another, whether it was hiring less than qualified people to deal with firearms or it was the constant fight about housing people appropriately. In all my years of doing this, this is one of the worst productions I’ve been on.”
Safety concerns stated by crew members are backed up by a text message sent by a crew member to the unit production manager, reported by the LA Times where the creative member said, “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe.”
Concern and frustration were clearly warranted, as was seen later during the shooting.
However, Rust Movie Productions painted a very different story when they said in a statement “The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.”
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”
Twenty-four-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed was the armorer in charge of the shoot, according to The Wall Street Journal. The legacy armorer was taught about firearms and industry standers from a parent who worked in props, however, this was reportedly Reed’s first time working as the head armorer on a film.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin tweeted on Friday. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”