Alec Baldwin did not intend to harm anyone on the set of “Rust,” but a Hollywood weapons expert said it was unwarranted for him to point the gun at people.
“Loaded or unloaded, a weapon never gets pointed at another human being,” Hollywood weapons consultant Bryan Carpenter of Dark Thirty Services told the New York Post.
Baldwin accidentally killed his 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza onset of the “Rust” production on Oct. 21. He was not aware the prop gun was lethal at the time.
Following safety protocols, all guns are never pointed at equipment, cast, or crew but instead would be aimed at a dummy point. Especially in terms of humans, Carpenter said the guns are never directed at them.
“You never let the muzzle of a weapon cover something you don’t intend to destroy,” said Carpenter. “All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.”
TMZ reported from an unidentified crew member that the 63-year-old movie star fired a “live single round” that resulted in the tragic event. However, the context had not been clear about Baldwin aiming the prop gun at Hutchins and Souza.
According to a source who told The Los Angeles Times, Hutchins was standing behind a camera operator’s monitor, with Souza behind them.
Some attention also clustered around 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who was in charge of tending for the weapons used in the movie. Reed had once before given an unchecked gun to a child actor.
A police warrant named Assistant Director Dave Halls in addition to Reed for the deadly accident. Halls was the person who gave Baldwin the prop gun and told him it was safe.
Nonetheless, Baldwin could still be liable to a series of legal challenges, including criminal charges for firing the shots, the Post noted from legal experts. He could also be held accountable for his role as the executive producer overseeing set safety.