Court Records Reveal What Really Happened On The Rust Set
New updates keep coming in as more information about the tragic accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” gets brought to light. The shooting took place on Thursday while the star of the film, Alec Baldwin, was filming a shootout scene. Typically, even if real firearms are used on set, they are treated like prop guns and are only loaded with blanks. This helps maintain the realism of an actual gunshot — including the muzzle flash and the loud “pop” of a bullet being fired — with minimal risk to the cast and crew.
For reasons that are still under investigation, there was at least one live round — an actual bullet that can maim or kill anyone in the line of fire — in the prop gun that Baldwin discharged on set. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hutchins was struck directly in the chest and director Joel Souza was also wounded because he was standing so close to her when the gun was fired. He survived his wounds and has since been discharged from the hospital; sadly, Hutchins did not. And new information has just been brought to light following the issuance of a search warrant by the local sheriff’s office.
Neither Baldwin nor the film's assistant director had any idea the gun was loaded
Also included in The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of the most recent news are updates on evidence and information that has been gathered thanks to the recently issued warrant. Per the document, Baldwin didn’t check the gun himself before using it, instead choosing to trust the assistant director who handed him the gun and told him it was “cold,” or safe to use. It’s unclear whether it was his responsibility to check the weapon before firing (unlikely, even though Deadline has reported that the actors did receive some gun safety training), or whether it was that of the AD or someone else in the chain of command. Adding to that is the fact that the sheriff’s office has cleared Baldwin for travel and declared him “a free man,” as quoted by USA Today.
The warrant also allowed local law enforcement to obtain the gun that was fired, as well as the suit Baldwin was wearing at the time. The costume reportedly became stained with blood during the course of events. Hopefully, forensic evidence from the gun will help shed some light on how and why this tragedy took place.