The prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set had been used by crew members offsite for fun, a new report claims.
The gun, which was fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie “Rust,” may have even been loaded with live rounds when it was used for what was essentially target practice, TMZ reported.
Multiple sources connected to the production of the film told TMZ that the gun was fired at off-the-clock gatherings – which could explain how a live round found its way into the gun’s chamber.
Another source who was on set told the outlet that when cops arrived they found live ammo and blank rounds stored in the same area, where the fatal mix-up could have occurred.
Officials have not confirmed the claims, TMZ said.
Alec Baldwin was involved in an on-set accidental shooting that left a crew member on the movie ‘Rust’ dead. (Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)
On Thursday, officials responded to a call on the set of Western, near Santa Fe, New Mexico after Baldwin had unknowingly fired a gun a live round, hitting 42-year-old Hutchins in the chest and killing her. Director Joel Souza, 48, who was standing behind her, was also injured.
Chaotic audio from the 911 reveals the distressing moment script supervisor Mamie Mitchell pleads responders for help.
“We had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun, we need help immediately,” Mitchell told an emergency dispatcher. “We were rehearsing and it went off, and I ran out, we all ran out.”
The Bonanza Creek Film Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., is shown Friday, Oct. 22, 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. The director of the movie was wounded, and authorities were investigating. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
The dispatcher asked if the gun was loaded with a real bullet, which Mitchell could not answer at the time.
In the call, she can be heard blaming the incident on the film’s assistant director David Halls. The role is typically in charge of ensuring guns are safe on movie sets.
Halls yelled out that the weapon was a “cold gun” before giving it to Baldwin, according to a search warrant issued on Friday.
“I cannot tell you. We have two injuries,” Mitchell replied. “And this (expletive) AD (assistant director) that yelled at me at lunch, asking about revisions … He’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happens on the set.”
The entrance to a film set where police say actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, killing a cinematographer, is seen outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. The Bonanza Creek Ranch film set has permanent structures for background used in Westerns, including “Rust,” the film Baldwin was working on when the prop gun discharged. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
Neither Halls nor Baldwin were aware that the gun contained live rounds, the warrant said.
“Rust” production sources told The Daily Beast that they questioned whether Halls followed proper procedure before the tragic incident.
No charges have been filed related to the incident.