‘Rust’ assistant director has a history of failing to maintain a ‘safe working environment’ on sets, a former colleague told NBC

Set of the movie 'Rust'
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
  • The assistant director on the set of “Rust” had a history of unsafe practices, according to a former colleague.
  • A prop maker who worked with Dave Halls said that he often neglected to hold safety meetings, she told NBC News.
  • A script supervisor blamed Halls for Thursday’s fatal shooting, per a 911 audio call, Insider reported.

The assistant director on the set of “Rust,” where Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, had a history of failing to maintain a “safe working environment,” a former colleague has said.

In a statement to NBC News, Maggie Goll, a prop maker who worked with assistant director Dave Halls on Hulu’s “Into the Dark” anthology series in February 2019, cited numerous examples of Hall’s allegedly unsafe practices.

In one instance, Goll told NBC News, Halls decided to keep filming after a pyrotechnician had a medical emergency and the set had become dangerous.

Goll also said that, on the set of “Into the Dark,” Halls neglected to hold safety meetings or make announcements before the appearance of a gun.

“The only reason the crew was made aware of a weapon’s presence was that the assistant prop master demanded Dave acknowledge and announce the situation each day,” she told NBC News.

“He did not maintain a safe working environment,” Goll said in the statement. “Sets were almost always allowed to become increasingly claustrophobic, no established fire lanes, exits blocked … safety meetings were nonexistent.”

The prop master described Halls as someone who initially appeared to be “affable” but added that the “facade soon disappeared.”

According to court records, Halls handed the prop gun to Baldwin, inaccurately telling him it was safe before the accidental shooting. “Cold gun,” the assistant director said, according to the Associated Press, which cited a filing. In reality, the firearm was loaded with live rounds, said a detective in a search warrant application.

Insider’s Yelena Dzhanova reported that a script supervisor for “Rust” blamed the assistant director in a 911 audio call of the shooting.

“This fucking AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherfucker,” said Mamie Mitchell, appearing to be in conversation with someone who was not on the call. “He’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happened.”

An investigation into the fatal shooting is ongoing, Insider reported.