In a heartbreaking, tragic accident, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed when actor Alec Baldwin, 63, discharged a production of the Western film “Rust.” The director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured, although he has since been released from the hospital.
Documents that were released on Friday show that an assistant director gave Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him that it was safe to use. The assistant director claimed it was a “cold gun,” which is a gun that contains no live rounds. A gun that contains live rounds is known as a “hot gun.”
According to an eyewitness, Baldwin kept asking why he had been handed a hot gun, saying, “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.”
Jensen Ackles, 43, who had recently joined the production of the film, spoke to fans about the gun training he received on set when he spoke to fans at a “Supernatural” convention in Denver last week.
BREAKING: Before fatal shooting, Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded gun on a film set by an assistant director who was unaware it held live ammunition, court records show. https://t.co/fL1WyZlhJ0
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 22, 2021
Gun Safety Training
In a video taken at the “Supernatural” convention, Ackles can be seen describing how he learned to use a gun on the set of “Rust.”
“I’ve got a 6 AM call tomorrow to have a big shoot-out,” he explained. “They had me pick my gun…the armorer was like, ‘Do you have experience?’ and I was like, ‘a little.’”
The Texas-born actor continued that she explained, “‘This is how you load it, check it’s safe. Do you want it hip-drawn or cross-drawn? I’ll just put some blanks in there and just fire a couple of rounds towards the hill.’”
“I walk out and she’s like, ‘Just make sure you pull the hammer all the way back and aim at your target,’” Ackles recalled. “And I was like, ‘All right, I got it.’”
It is unclear at this time what gun safety training Baldwin received while on set.
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Remembering Halyna Hutchins
In a Twitter statement, Baldwin wrote, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
“She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next.”
“She was a fantastic person,” he continued. “There was no amount of pressure she couldn’t handle. She was a great collaborator and an ally to anyone in front of her camera. Everyone who knew her was rooting for her. I can’t believe that this could happen in this day and age… *gunfire killing a crew member? This is a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to her family and especially to her son. I am so sad today for everyone who knew her and worked with her…”
According to an official at the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department, “Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released. No arrests or charges have been filed.”