LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The assistant director who purportedly handed actor Alec Baldwin the loaded prop gun which was used in the shooting death of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of the film “Rust” last month has broken his silence on the incident.
Dave Halls released his first public statement Monday on the Oct. 21 killing of 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins.
“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” Halls said in a statement to CBS News. “I’m shocked and saddened by her death.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed last week that a single live round from a Pietta Colt .45 revolver fired by Baldwin struck and killed Hutchins and wounded the director, 48-year-old Joel Souza.
The 63-year-old Baldwin was inside a church building, sitting on a wooden pew, rehearsing unholstering his prop gun and pointing it at the camera when he fired it, according to a search warrant filed by investigators. Hutchins was hit in the chest and Souza in the shoulder.
The “loaded firearm” was “handled and/or inspected” by the film’s armor, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and Halls, prior to it being fired by Baldwin, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said.
According to the affidavit filed by sheriff’s investigators, Halls had handed Baldwin the prop gun and yelled that it was a “cold gun,” meaning it was not loaded with live ammunition.
Reed had purportedly brought three guns to the set on a rolling cart, one of which was handed to Baldwin, the search warrant reads.
According to the initial affidavit, Halls told detectives he did not know that there were live rounds in the gun.
However, in a separate search warrant filed Oct. 27, Halls acknowledged to investigators that he did not check all of the rounds in the weapon before handing it to Baldwin and declaring it a “cold gun.”
Halls told investigators that he only saw three dummy rounds.
“He could only remember seeing three rounds,” the affidavit reads. “He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she (Reed) spun the drum.”
In his statement, Halls did not comment on the specifics of the shooting.
“It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again,” Halls wrote.