The assistant director of the film Rust, Dave Halls, was previously fired from a film set because of a shooting incident, CNN reports. The assistant director is one of two employees under investigation after actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed a camerawoman on the film set on Thursday.
Halls was fired from the Freedom’s Path film set in 2019 after a gun accident, the production company reported to CNN. An employee on the set suffered minor injuries. The producer, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote that Halls was “immediately removed from the set”. Production did not resume until Halls was gone.
The producer is already the second person to express doubts about Halls’ working method. On Sunday, Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, stated that in 2019 she had filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” about Halls’ behaviour. According to Goll, Halls disregarded gun and fireworks safety protocols and attempted to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician, who was a diabetic, passed out.
The film gunsmith, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is also being investigated. The gun served as a prop. It contained one real bullet and some blanks. The latter is used on a film set to create a popping sound, but no bullet is fired when the trigger is pulled.
42-year-old camerawoman Halyna Hutchins died on set. Gutierrez Reed and Halls are said to have held the gun last before it went to Baldwin. They would also have been responsible for making the weapon ‘cold’. That is, there are no real bullets in it. No charges have been filed against Baldwin.
In an email sent to the “Rust” film crew this weekend, the production team confirmed that the shooting had been suspended until the investigation was completed. The team said it is working closely with the researchers and is also looking at its own internal security. The production company also offers grief counselling.