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Assistant director on Alec Baldwin film Rust admits not properly checking gun

An assistant director who handed actor Alec Baldwin the gun he used to kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in an apparent on-set accident admitted to investigators that he failed to properly check it for live ammunition, according to court documents released on Wednesday.

Dave Halls told detectives in New Mexico that he recalled seeing only three dummy rounds in the chamber of the .45 revolver that Baldwin was using to rehearse a scene for the western Rust, but still declared the weapon “cold” – or safe.

“He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum,” the affidavit from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office states, referring to a safety procedure the movie’s armourer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, should have performed to allow him clear sight of every chamber.

Ms Hutchins, 42, the film’s director of photography, died after being struck by a bullet fired by Baldwin, also the movie’s producer, on Oct 21. Director Joel Souza was injured.

After the fatal shot was fired, Halls said he retrieved the weapon from a pew of a chapel being used for the filming and asked Ms Gutierrez to open it. He said he then recalled seeing five rounds in the chamber, four with holes on the side to signify they were dummies, but one – a shell casing – with no hole.

“David advised the incident was not a deliberate act,” according to the affidavit, filed by investigators to support a search warrant for the set at Bonanza Creek Ranch.

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