THE assistant director who reportedly handed Alec Baldwin a loaded gun that led to the fatal shooting on the Rust film set worked on the sequel to The Crow, where Brandon Lee was killed.
Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed a gun from a cart an armorer had placed it on and handed it to the actor, believing that it was unloaded, according to a search warrant filed as part of the ongoing investigation.
Halls even told Baldwin the weapon was “cold,” according to the warrant.
In an ironic twist, Halls also worked on The Crow: Salvation, the sequel to the 1993 film The Crow, where actor Brandon Lee was tragically killed in a similar gun mishap.
Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died at age 28 after being hit by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie.
In that incident, a prop gun that was supposed to fire a blank let off a live round, killing the actor.
After Thursday’s accident, Lee’s family took to social media to send condolences for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed, and director Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust,’” the family tweeted from an account dedicated to Lee. “No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”
The gun that Baldwin fired on Thursday was also loaded with live rounds.
Halls is a veteran of the film industry, having worked as an assistant director on major productions like Fargo, The Matrix Reloaded, and Reno 911.
Read our Alec Baldwin shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates…
The gun Halls picked up was reportedly one of three laid on a cart by the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
It’s not clear at this time how many rounds were fired.
Gutierrez-Reed, 24, is the daughter of longtime film industry armorer, Thell Reed. She said in a recent podcast interview that she had trained from a young age.
She also said that she had recently completed her first job as a head armorer on a film called The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage.
The gun that went off and other prop guns and ammunition were taken in as evidence, as well as Alec’s blood-stained costume, the warrant says.
PREVIOUS SAFETY COMPLAINTS ON SET
According to the accounts of people familiar with the Rust set, Thursday’s deadly accident was not the first time there were safety issues at the New Mexico film location, Deadline reports.
At least one previous incident involved a prop weapon misfiring, one source told the outlet.
“A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin,” the source said. “They just fired loud pops – a person was just holding it in their hands and it went off.”
Hours before Thursday’s fatal accident, seven of the film’s camera crew also reportedly stormed off the set because of safety concerns.
One worker wrote that the team was replaced by “four non-union guys.”
An unnamed prop master who oversaw the gun used in the shooting was a non-union employee who was “just brought in” to replace workers who left, a source told The New York Post.
It’s unclear at this time if Gutierrez-Reed was a recent addition to the production.
However, a link on her Instagram profile leads to an article about Rust that was published in May, suggesting she may have been part of the team early on.
BALDWIN ISSUES STATEMENT
Baldwin, 63, issued a statement after the incident mourning Halyna, 42, and confirming that he was cooperating with the police investigation.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”