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'Rust' Assistant Director Who Handed Loaded Firearm To Alec Baldwin Was Fired From Previous Film For Crew Member Injury

rust assistant director was fired from previous film for crew member injury
Source: MEGA

Oct. 26 2021, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

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The assistant director on set of Rust appears to have had a previous experience with a mishandled firearm on a movie set in the past.

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Director Joel Souza recalled in search warrant docs that it was David Halls, the assistant director, who handed Alec Baldwin the prop gun containing a live bullet that killed camerawoman Halyna Hutchins.

A recent report from CNN revealed that Halls was reportedly fired from another movie set after a crew member was injured by a discharged gun.

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rust assistant director was fired from previous film for crew member injury
Source: MEGA

Halls was working as the assistant director on the Arkansas set for the film Freedom’s Path in 2019 when a prop gun was discharged without warning.

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“Halls was removed from the set immediately after the prop gun discharged,” the film’s producers told the outlet. “Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time.”

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The producers added that Halls — who was replaced by a new assistant director to finish out filming — was “very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated.”

The new information comes as Halls was recently named as one of the people who handled the prop gun before Baldwin fatally shot the 42-year-old cinematographer and wounded the director.

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rust assistant director was fired from previous film for crew member injury
Source: @halynahutchins/Instagram

An anonymous crew member on the Rust set claimed that he heard Halls tell the Miami Blues actor that the gun was “cold,” before handing it to him, even though the firearm actually contained a live round.

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The crew member, who spoke under the pseudonym “Jay” also insisted that Halls had a “flippant” attitude toward the safety precautions regarding the weapons.

“He would rush through [the safety meetings] and say, alright guys, be safe, let’s get to work,” Jay recalled.

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“Even though the guns were not loaded, you have to treat it as if it always is,” the crew member continued. “For me that means doing a safety meeting that may be seen as unnecessary but should absolutely be done so that everyone is on the same page.”

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rust assistant director was fired from previous film for crew member injury
Source: @haylnahutchins/Instagram

They added, “When I worked with [David], it was the only time I’ve had any AD ask me, 'Do we really need to have a safety meeting?'"

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Jay also claimed that Halls shouldn’t have been handling the weapon in the first place, as only the armorer and the actor using it should be directly involved.

The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, previously admitted that she felt she wasn’t ready for her gig as the weapon handler on the set.

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However, Jay insisted that the responsibility still falls on Halls, who should have never told Baldwin the gun was “cold” if he hadn’t checked with his own eyes.

“It literally takes just a few seconds to check the gun to make sure it’s safe,” Jay said. “He had no idea if it was a cold gun, so why make that announcement?”

It is still unclear why the gun used by Baldwin was loaded with a live bullet, but an investigation is being conducted to determine what went wrong in the deadly accident.

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