LOS ANGELES – The assistant director on the set of “Rust” where Alec Baldwin fired a fatal gun that killed cinematographer Helena Hutchins had previously allowed an unsafe work environment on the production, according to the prop maker he worked with.
Dave Halls ‘At first he looked older and cute at first [assistant director] With the usual series of characteristics, but that interface quickly disappeared,” according to Maggie Jules, who said she was called to work on the Hulu anthology series “Into the Dark” in February 2019.
“He did not maintain a safe work environment,” Gul said in a detailed statement to NBC News. “Groups were always allowed to become increasingly claustrophobic, no fixed fire lanes, closed exits… Safety meetings non-existent.”
According to court records, Holes handed the pistol to Baldwin before the fatal shooting at the Bonanza ranch in New Mexico, incorrectly indicating that the gun did not carry live ammunition by shouting “cold pistol.”
Halls did not respond to requests for comment on Friday and Saturday.
Gul, an expert special effects technician and pyrotechnics technician, said that in one instance, Halls tried to continue filming even after the lead pyrotechnician experienced a medical emergency and the set became unsafe.
In a statement to NBC News, a spokesperson for Blumhouse Television, which produced “Into the Dark” with Hulu, said they could not comment “on personnel matters” when asked about complaints against Halls.
Sources familiar with the situation told NBC News on Friday that the rifle Baldwin used that was supposed to contain blanks had previously been created on set in New Mexico, prompting several crew members to exit just hours before the accident. that killed Hutchins.
In a statement, Rust Movies Productions said it had not been informed of any official gun or prop safety complaints on the set.
Investigators did not say whether the gun contained blanks.
A 911 call alerting authorities about the incident indicates panic in the group.
“We were training and we ran out, and we all ran out,” one caller told an emergency reporter in the recording provided by the Santa Fe County Regional Emergency Communications Center.
When Baldwin pulled the trigger, Hutchins killed and wounded director Joel Sousa, who was standing behind her. Souza, who is recovering from a gunshot wound, broke his silence on Saturday, saying he was “devastated” by Hutchins’ death.
“There is absolutely no reason to disregard the safety of a gun when shooting, even when it is a non-lead-supported firearm,” Jules said.
Jules added that on the “Into the Dark” group, “Halls” didn’t feel the same way “and neglected to hold safety meetings or make announcements before a firearm appeared on the set.”
“The only reason the crew knew of a weapon was because the assistant prop commanded Dave to acknowledge the situation and announce it every day,” she said.
She added, “The anthology series was a ‘side letter’ agreement… which allowed for lower working conditions, no real jurisdiction over covered union work, aka non-preferential hiring and what amounts to crew poverty wages.”
No one has been arrested or charged in the New Mexico shooting and an investigation is underway.
Baldwin, 63, best known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” called the killing a “tragic accident.” It was a “rust” product.
David Douglas and Alicia Victoria Lozano reported from Los Angeles; Yulia Talmazan reported from London.