The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed a cinematographer says he hopes the tragedy prompts the film industry to “reevaluate its values and practices” to ensure no one is harmed again.
avid Halls released a statement to the New York Post, breaking his silence following the October 21 fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza during production of the western Rust in New Mexico.
Mr Halls said Ms Hutchins was a friend and one of the most talented people he has worked with.
“I’m shocked and saddened by her death,” he said in the statement. “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.”
Mr Halls did not provide any details of what he thinks might be reformed or how changes might have helped avoid what happened on the set of Rust.
Court records have provided details about the death of Ms Hutchins on the set near Santa Fe.
Authorities have said that Mr Halls handed the weapon to Mr Baldwin and announced “cold gun”, indicating that the weapon was safe to use.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said last week there was “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the set.
Investigators found around 500 rounds of ammunition – a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and suspected live rounds – even though the set’s firearms specialist, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said real ammunition should never have been present.
Ms Gutierrez Reed said through her attorneys that she did not know where the live rounds came from and blamed producers for unsafe working conditions.
Mr Souza told detectives that Mr Baldwin was rehearsing a scene in which he drew a revolver from his holster and pointed it toward the camera, which Ms Hutchins and Mr Souza were behind. Mr Souza said the scene did not call for the use of live rounds.
The investigation is ongoing, and authorities have said much work needs to be done before getting to a point where charges could be considered.
Hollywood professionals have been baffled by the circumstances of the movie-set shooting. It already has led to other production crews stepping up safety measures.