'Rust' film staffer blames profit over people for the death of cinematographer
Child holding gun (Shutterstock)

Weapons experts and prop masters have rushed to the internet to explain why the procedure and rules weren't followed on the set of the western "Rust," where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after a live round was left in a prop gun.

The Daily Beast reports that the gaffer who was on the set at the time of the accident blamed "profits" over people for Hutchins's death in a scathing Facebook post.

Specifically, Serge Svetnoy said that the entire focus around the creation for "Rust" has been on savings above safety while filming in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He wrote that he was "standing shoulder-to-shoulder" with Hutchins as Alec Baldwin fired what he was told was a "cold gun," which is when a gun doesn't have live ammunition. The scene was a tight shot of Baldwin pointing the gun at the camera to get film of the gun firing.

"I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands," he wrote. He noted that he's worked on a number of films with Hutchins and that they were friends. He went on to give "my opinion on why this has happened."

"It's the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism," he said. "The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!"

Police identified the weapons person, known as the "armorer" as a "green and inexperienced" 24-year-old. But she wasn't the one who handed the gun to Baldwin. Dave Halls, the assistant director, handed the actor the gun, specifically calling it a "cold gun," court documents revealed.

There have been many complaints about Halls over the span of several different films, CNN reported, citing complaints dating back to 2019. In one, he ordered an actor to do a stunt, despite objections from the crew, BusinessInsider reported.

"The complaints against assistant director Dave Halls include a disregard for safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics use, blocked fire lanes and exits, and instances of inappropriately sexual behavior in the workplace," said CNN.

CNN also cited Maggie Goll, an IATSE Local 44 prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, who stated that when she worked on Hulu's "Into the Dark," Halls also neglected to hold safety meetings and frequently failed to follow protocol involving firearms on the set, which is heavily regulated.

Read the full post at the Daily Beast.