“During an interview with David Halls, when Affiant asked David about the safety protocol on set in regards to firearms, he advised, ‘I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there’s no live fire, she [Hannah] opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say cold gun on set,’” reveals an affidavit successfully submitted by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office for a new search warrant issued today (read the search warrant here).
“David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” the filing adds, noting the interaction that afternoon last week between the First AD and armorer Hannah Gutierrez.
“He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum,” the affidavit bluntly states of the crew member who has emerged at the core of this tragedy.
The affidavit for the latest warrant goes on to say in its interview with Halls
Affiant learned after the gun was fired, David Halls picked up the firearm from a pew inside the church, and took it to the Armorer (Hannah Gutierrez). Hannah then was told to “open” the gun so he could see what was inside. David advised he could only remember seeing at least four “dummy” casings with the hole on the side, and one without the hole. He advised this round did not have the “cap” on it and was just the casing. David advised the incident was not a deliberate act. When Affiant asked David about the safety protocol on set in regards to firearms, he advised, “I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there’s no live fire, she (Hannah) opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say cold gun on set.” David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds. He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum.
In an interview of her own Gutierrez, who was responsible for all firearm safety on the film, insisted no live ammo is ever kept on set,” according to the affidavit.
She also told police that she had “checked the ‘dummies’ and ensured they were not ‘hot” rounds’” in the gun. Setting the timeline a little more specifically, the armorer said the three firearms being used for the scene that afternoon were locked in a “prop truck” during the crew’s lunch break.
A subsequent interview with director Souza shed more light on the already troubled set. “The day started off late due to a camera crew walking offset the previous day (10/20/2021),” Souza told police. “The crew was replaced the following day (10/21/2021).” In fact, submitting their resignations in writing, the crew who quit directly cited safety and financial issues on the $7 million budgeted Western
Issued this morning just before the much-anticipated press conference by Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, the search warrant allows police to look in the white prop trick and the cargo box for the vehicle.
The warrant is seeking info about lock combo, footage, fingerprints, gun residue, clothing, bodily fluids and “Firearm(s), Firearm(s) components, documentation that establishes ownership of said firearm(s). Ammunition(s), used or unused whether it be live ammunition or prop ammunition, projectiles, casings whether spent or unspent”
In a previous set of search warrants from October 22, the Sheriff’s Office said that just before the shooting of Hutchins and Souza, Baldwin on the afternoon of October 20 was handed one of a trio of prop guns from a nearby cart by Halls. Preparing for a rehearsal scene, the Rust star and producer was told the prop was a “cold gun” that did not have any live rounds in it.
Indicating that three prop guns were prepped by the on-set armorer Gutierrez the October 22 affidavit from Detective Joel Cano said that Halls “did not know live rounds were in the prop gun.”
An industry veteran, Halls was fired from the film Freedom’s Path in 2019 “when a gun was unexpectedly discharged,” confirmed one of the film’s producers to Deadline on October 24.
With a source citing Halls being “very aggressive” and “intimidating on set,” the First AD also had a personal-behavior complaint filed against him two years ago while working on Blumhouse TV’s anthology series Into the Dark. “Dave Halls worked on two films for Blumhouse Television in 2019, and was not rehired after that time,” a Blumhouse TV spokesperson told Deadline. There were also claims of safety issues on the Pure episode of Into The Dark, but nothing directly connected to Halls, we hear. “Any complaints that were received by the studio regarding safety issues were dealt with promptly,” the Blumhouse spokesperson added.
At today’s presser, Sheriff Mendoza and First Judicial District Attorney Carmack-Altwies went into detail on the status of the investigation.
DA Carmack-Altwies said that “all options are one the table — no one has been ruled out,” but also stressed that no conclusions have yet been reached. Mendoza said three guns had been recovered from the scene, including a “long Colt .45,” which he believed to be the gun from which Baldwin accidentally fired the fatal bullet. He also said a lead bullet had been recovered from the shoulder of director Joel Souza. It is believed to be the projectile that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins before hitting Souza.
The department has recovered “500 rounds of ammunition … a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds,” said Mendoza. He said that a “lead projectile … has been recovered from the shoulder of Mr. Souza,” and indicated that he considered the “bullet live because obviously it did fire from the gun.” But, he quickly added, “Until it’s proven by the crime lab, it’s a suspected live round.”
Tom Tapp contributed to this report.
Watch the Santa Fe Sheriff & First Judicial DA’s Wednesday news conference below.
Related Deadline Video:
Rust Movie Accident
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