Startling new details continue to surface as part of a probe into a deadly shooting on the set of the doomed film Rust.
According to reports, industry safety standards were ignored ahead of actor Alec Baldwin’s fateful discharge of a firearm that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“Refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone”
As Fox News explained, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees advises that film crews are expected to assume any gun being used during a performance is capable of inflicting deadly injuries.
One related admonition is published in all-caps, asserting: “BLANKS CAN KILL. TREAT ALL FIREARMS AS THOUGH THEY ARE LOADED. ‘LIVE AMMUNITION’ IS NEVER TO BE USED NOR BROUGHT ONTO ANY STUDIO LOT OR STAGE.”
Furthermore, the directive implores individuals to “refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone” unless “absolutely necessary” and to “remember that ay object at which you point a firearm could be destroyed.”
As with any responsible gun owner, the document warns anyone on a movie set to “NEVER place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.”
Reports indicate Baldwin pointed the gun at a camera while rehearsing a scene when it discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Prior to firing the weapon, assistant director Dave Halls reportedly indicated that the gun was “cold,” or not loaded with a live round.
“No live ammo is ever kept on set”
As for the armorer working on the film, Hannah Gutierrez Reed maintained that “no live ammo is ever kept on set.”
Authorities indicated, however, that they found live rounds mixed with dummies and blanks. The gun fired by Baldwin is said to have been left unattended for two hours as the crew took a lunch break.
Industry guidelines call for the property master to check “all firearms before each use” and that live rounds should be clearly marked and used only in special circumstances.
As it stands, there is plenty of finger-pointing between Baldwin, Halls, Reed, and others on the set that day as investigators attempt to determine exactly how the gun went off and how a live round ended up in the weapon. Baldwin appeared to blame Halls while pushing back against claims that conditions on the set were unsafe and the assistant director has denied that he gave Baldwin the firearm in the first place.
Lawyers for Reed have speculated that a disgruntled crew member might have “sabotaged” the set by placing a live round in the gun.