Fatal shooting: Alec Baldwin was told loaded gun was 'cold'
Popular actor and Saturday Night Live star Alec Baldwin did not know the prop gun that led to the death of a cinematographer on a film set contained live rounds, court documents released recently show. According to the records, an assistant director had unwittingly handed Baldwin the loaded gun, telling him that it was safe to use. No arrests have been made yet.
Baldwin said he was 'fully cooperating with the police'
To recall, Baldwin had misfired a prop gun while filming for Rust in New Mexico which fatally wounded director of photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, and critically injured director Joel Souza. Although no criminal charges were registered against Baldwin, detectives have been conducting a thorough investigation. The 63-year-old said on Twitter he was "fully cooperating with the police" and was "in touch with [Hutchins's] husband."
Exact type of gun used here is not clear
According to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun had announced "cold gun" before the take. The term is used to mean that the prop gun doesn't have any ammunition. Notably, sets sometimes use real weapons that can fire bullets/blanks, alongside using fake/prop guns. The exact type of weapon used here is not clear.
Crew: Multiple misfires happened on set before fatal shooting
In light of the tragic incident, reports of safety mismanagement have come up. Apparently, hours before Baldwin misfired, about six workers walked off in protest against the working conditions. Apart from paychecks and accommodation-related complaints, the crew members were concerned about prop gun discharges more than once on the sets of the low-budget Western. "There were no safety meetings," a staffer told LA Times.
Safety on sets has come under the radar
As per industry rules, productions that use prop guns have weapons handlers aka armorers who watch the weapons on set, keeping note of when they are loaded and with what material to ensure everyone's safety. For Rust, Hannah Gutierrez was the armorer but she has not given any statement yet. Now the fatal incident is making people question the safety provisions on film sets.