Assistant director on ‘Rust’ set told police he didn’t check all the rounds in the prop gun before handing it to Alec Baldwin

Yellow sign with white arrow with black boarder to set for the movie 'Rust'
Set sign for the movie ‘Rust.’ Sam Wasson/Getty
  • The assistant director on the “Rust” set told cops that he didn’t check all the rounds in the prop gun used by Alec Baldwin.
  • Assistant director David Halls “advised he should have checked all of them,” according to a new affidavit.
  • Baldwin fired a prop gun on the movie set last week, fatally shooting a cinematographer.

The assistant director on the New Mexico set of Alec Baldwin’s “Rust” movie told police that he did not check all the rounds in the barrel of the prop gun used in last week’s deadly shooting to make sure they were all dummy bullets, according to a newly filed court document.

Assistant director David Halls told police that when the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “showed him” the firearm, used by Baldwin in the on-set shooting, “before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” according to a new affidavit obtained by Insider that was filed Wednesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

Halls “advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t and couldn’t recall” if Gutierrez-Reed “spun the drum” of the gun, said the affidavit that was included in search warrant documents for a “prop truck” on the movie set.

When authorities with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office asked Halls about the safety protocol on the set in regards to firearms, Halls said, “I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there’s no live fire,” according to the affidavit.

Halls said that Gutierrez-Reed “opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say ‘cold gun’ on set,” the document states.

Halls did not immediately respond to a request from Insider for comment on Wednesday.

Baldwin, who was producing and starring in the Western flick, was rehearsing a scene for the film at Santa Fe’s Bonanza Creek Ranch on October 21 when he fired the gun, fatally shooting the cinematographer and wounding the director, authorities said.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that the prop gun was a .45 Long Colt revolver fired by Baldwin loaded with a live bullet.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot in the chest and killed, while director Joel Souza was hit in the right shoulder in the incident. Police are still investigating and have not ruled out charges yet.

Authorities said Wednesday that the “lead projectile” was recovered from Souza’s shoulder. Mendoza added it was “apparently the same round” that struck both Hutchins and Souza.

A previously filed affidavit said when Halls handed the gun to Baldwin before the incident, Halls yelled out “cold gun,” indicating that it did not contain any live rounds.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez-Reed told authorities that on the day of the shooting she checked the “dummies” and “ensured they were not ‘hot’ rounds,” according to the affidavit filed Wednesday.

According to the document, when the crew broke for lunch that day, the firearms on set were taken back and “secured inside a safe on the ‘prop truck.'”

“During lunch, [Gutierrez-Reed] stated the ammo was left on a cart on the set, not secured,” the affidavit says.

Gutierrez-Reed told investigators that after lunch, a crewmember, identified as Sarah Zachary, “pulled the firearms out of the safe inside the truck, and handed them to her.”

The armorer told cops that only a few people have access and the combination to the safe, the document says.

“During the course of filming, Hannah advised she handed the gun to Alec Baldwin a couple times, and also handed it to David Halls,” the affidavit said. “When Affiant asked about live ammo on set, Hannah responded no live ammo is ever kept on set.”

Mendoza said Wednesday that police recovered about 500 rounds of ammunition – which includes blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds – from the “Rust” set as part of their investigation.

“We know there was one live round, as far as we’re concerned, on set,” Mendoza said.

After the shooting occurred inside a church building on the movie set, Halls picked up the gun and took it to Gutierrez-Reed, the new affidavit says.

“Hannah then was told to ‘open’ the gun so he could see what was inside. David advised he could only remember seeing at least four ‘dummy’ casings with the hole on the side, and one without the hole,” according to the document.

Halls “advised this round did not have the ‘cap’ on it and was just the casing,” the document states. “David advised the incident was not a deliberate act.”