Asst. Director Who Handed Alec Baldwin Prop Gun Terminated from Previous Film After Firearm Incident: Reports
Rust's assistant director David Halls, who handed Alec Baldwin a prop gun just before the fatal filming on set last week, was reportedly fired from a previous film after a firearm injured a crew member.
Halls was the assistant director on Freedom's Path in 2019 when a gun was unexpectedly unloaded on the Arkansas set. A crew member from the sound department reportedly jumped back from the blast and suffered an injury, the film's producers Deadline and CNN said.
“Halls was removed from the set immediately after the prop gun was unloaded. Filming didn't resume until Dave wasn't there, ”the producers told both outlets. "An incident report was drawn up and filed back then."
The unnamed producers also told CNN that Halls "was very remorseful about events and understood the reasons for his resignation."
"A new assistant director and armorer have been hired for the duration of the shoot. Production of the film has been successfully completed," the producers added to CNN.
Freedom's Path was produced by Rocket Soul Studios. The production company did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. PEOPLE was also unable to reach Halls for comment.
Alec Baldwin - Halyna Hutchins
Jim Spellman / Getty; Fred Hayes / Getty
RELATED: Details of Rust Crew Members Troubling "Red Flags" on Set Before Fatal Shooting
New Mexico authorities are currently investigating the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died Thursday after being flown to the University of New Mexico hospital. Baldwin, 63, shot down a prop gun during a scene on the set of the film Rust, killing Hutchins, 42nd Director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured in the incident but was discharged from hospital the next day.
According to a sworn affidavit issued by a search warrant from the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office, Halls picked up a prop gun from an armorer-prepared cart and gave it to Baldwin just before the fatal shooting.
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When he got the gun, Halls shouted "Cold Gun!" (a phrase intended to indicate that the gun is not loaded and is safe to use). Neither Baldwin nor Halls knew there were sharp rounds in the gun.
Halls has not commented publicly on the situation.
James Gourley / Shutterstock
Commenting on the incident for the first time on Friday morning, Baldwin wrote on Twitter: "There are no words to express my shock and sadness at the tragic accident in which Halyna Hutchins, a woman, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours, cost his life. "
"I am fully cooperating with the police investigation into how this tragedy came about and I am in contact with her husband and offer my assistance to him and his family," he continued. "My heart is broken for her husband, her son, and everyone who knew and loved Halyna."
RELATED: Rust Gaffer Says Holding Halyna Hutchins "While She Died" Blaming Her Death For "Negligence"
The Rust film set closed and production was suspended indefinitely after Hutchins' death, according to production company Rust Movie Productions, LLC.
In an email to the film crew received from PEOPLE, the Rust production team said, "We are conducting an internal review of security logs for your patience in this regard."
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