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‘Rust’ assistant director urges industry to “reevaluate its values” after set death

David Halls shouted “cold gun” to indicate the weapon was safe before handing it to Baldwin, according to court documents

By Hollie Geraghty

Haylna Hutchins stands behind a camera in a black and white photo
Assistant director David Halls said he was "shocked and saddened" by Halyna Hutchins' death. (Photo: Twitter @Joemanganiello).

The assistant director on ‘Rust’ who handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has spoken about the incident publicly for the first time.

According to court documents, David Halls shouted “cold gun” to indicate the weapon was safe before handing it to Baldwin on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico last month.

Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured when the gun went off in an accidental shooting.

“I’m shocked and saddened by her death,” Halls said in a statement to the New York Post. “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.”

The director also described Hutchins as “not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend.”

He said he was “overwhelmed by the love and support,” adding “my thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna.”

On Saturday (October 30) Alec Baldwin made his first public comments since the shooting, having previously spoken of his “shock and sadness” on social media.

Speaking to celebrity news agency BackGrid in Vermont, he said: “There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this.

“This is a one-in-a-trillion episode, a one-in-a-trillion event.”

Baldwin also spoke about meeting with Halyna Hutchins’ husband and son.

“I wouldn’t know how to characterize it. They’re mortified,” he said.

Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria filmed him speaking, also approaching him to stop talking at one point.

“She was my friend, she was my friend. When I arrived in Sante Fe to start shooting, I took her to dinner,” he said.

“We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together when this horrible event happened.”

The actor added he was “not allowed to comment on the investigation”, but that he was talking to police everyday. 

After speaking he requested that photographers stop following him and his family, saying that his kids were “in the car crying”.

Last week it was also revealed that a veteran film industry prop master had turned down a job on ‘Rust’ due to “massive red flags”.

Neal W Zoromski told the Los Angeles Times he got a “bad feeling” during informal discussions with managers about a potential work opportunity on Baldwin’s new film.

Police are yet to charge anyone relating to the incident, but say they could still be a possibility.

On the subject of possible charges, the Santa Fe county district attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, told the New York Times: “Everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table.”