Poor Safety on Movie Set Leads to Accidental Fatal Shooting by Alec Baldwin

The film crew of the movie “Rust” had been complaining about unsafe conditions during the days that led up to Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, age 42. Baldwin’s bullet also managed to accidentally hit the director of the film, Joel Souza, who is now recovering at the New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

Crew members were frustrated by the lack of safety protocols and the overall working conditions during the filming of the low-budget movie. Complaints included delayed paychecks, long commute times and long hours. It was reported that the standard gun safety procedures were not being followed, and there were three accidental discharges of guns on occasions prior to the fatal shooting. In the non-fatal prior incident, Baldwin’s stunt double was told that the weapon was not loaded, and he accidentally shot off two rounds.

No follow-up investigations or meetings were conducted to improve the safety of gun protocols after the first misfiring incident. Even though the prop gun misfires led to one staff member sending a warning text to the production manager, no steps were taken to increase the safety procedures.

After the fatal shooting, the producers of the movie stated that they hold safety as the highest priority, and they claimed that they were unaware of the problems that led up to the tragedy. The company said that they would conduct reviews of procedures while filming of the movie is halted. They also mentioned that they are cooperating with police authorities in their investigations.

The fatal shooting occurred on Thursday during filming of a gunfight in a church located in an old Western town. Halyna Hutchins was preparing some upcoming scenes in front of a monitor when she was fatally hit by a live round of ammunition from Baldwin’s gun. The bullet penetrated through Hutchins and then hit Souza, who was standing behind her. The prop gun was supposed to be loaded with blank rounds instead of regular ammunition. Police have not determined how or why regular ammunition was loaded into Baldwin’s gun.

It was reported the next day that Baldwin received the prop gun from an assistant director, and the actor was assured that it was safe to use. The assistant director claims that he was unaware of the deadly bullet that was in the gun at that time. The person in charge of weapons and ammunition was Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and she did not provide any comments.

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