Alec Baldwin shooting: ‘Rust’ assistant director was fired from previous movie over gun incident, report says

‘Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged,’ the production company Rocket Soul Studios told CNN

Nathan Place
New York
Tuesday 26 October 2021 13:35
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Alec Baldwin is ‘cancelling other projects’ following Rust tragedy

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The assistant director who reportedly handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed a cinematographer was fired from a previous movie over a similar incident, CNN says.

Dave Halls was working on the 2019 film Freedom’s Path when a prop gun “unexpectedly discharged”, CNN reported, injuring a sound technician.

“Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged,” the movie’s production company, Rocket Soul Studios, told CNN. “Production did not resume filming until Dave was off site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time.”

The crew member injured in this case was not shot, but was reportedly hurt while recoiling from the blast. Rocket Soul Studios says Mr Halls was fired just hours later.

“Upon wrapping production for the day, Dave Halls was officially terminated and given the specific reasons for his termination,” the studio said. “Dave was very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated. A new assistant director as well as a new armorer were hired for the duration of principal photography. Production of the film finished successfully.”

On Thursday, Mr Halls was working on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie Rust when Mr Baldwin accidentally fired a prop gun, shooting two people – the film’s director, Joel Souza, and its director of photography, Halyna Hutchins. Ms Hutchins later died.

According to Santa Fe court documents, Mr Halls is the one who handed Baldwin the gun, apparently assuring him it was safe.

Separately, a prop maker on Rust has told CNN that Mr Halls was careless about firearms on the set of another movie, Into the Dark.

“The only reason the crew was made aware of a weapon’s presence was because the assistant prop master demanded Dave acknowledge and announce the situation each day,” Maggie Goll told CNN. “The prop master frequently admonished Dave for dismissing the talent without returning props, weapon included, or failing to make safety announcements.”

CNN says it has reached out to Mr Halls for comment, but has not yet heard back. The Independent has also attempted to reach Mr Halls.

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