On Thursday (October 21) a fatal accident on the set of Alec Baldwin's film Rust wounded the movie director, Joel Souza, and killed the Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins. It was reported that a prop gun that was expected to have only contained blanks wound up having live ammunition, which led to the accident. Baldwin had reportedly been the one holding the gun when it went off, as the actor had been shooting a scene at the time the accident occurred.
There is currently an active investigation looking into determining what exactly resulted in the fatal shooting, and TMZ has recently reported that the set's gun handler, Hannah Reed, had stated in a podcast last month that she had recently wrapped up a job working on Nicolas Cage's film The Old Way as a gun handler, and it had been her first time as a head armorer for a film. The podcast, Voices of the West, finds Reed confessing that she had hesitations about her experience.
"You know, I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn't take the job because I wasn't sure if I was ready, but, doing it, like, it went really smoothly," Reed said in the Voices of the West podcast episode about working on The Old Way.
Reed is the daughter of one of Hollywood's top armorers, Thell Reed, who has previously served as the head armorer for the films Django: Unchained, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and 3:10 to Yuma. Hannah Reed shared to the podcast that she had initially been fearful about loading blanks, as she had been unsure of how to do it properly, but said that her father had helped her figure it out.
It was confirmed on Friday (October 22) that the gun fired off on the set of Rust had contained a live round, according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Baldwin broke his silence on the accident on Friday (October 22) as well.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," Baldwin had said in a statement obtained by TMZ. "I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred. I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
Hutchins had been airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and was pronounced dead. Souza had been taken to a local hospital closer to where the film had been shooting on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was treated for his injuries.
Production for the film has been halted, and no charges have been filed in relation to the shooting. The events are currently under investigation, and the Sante Fe county sheriff's department is working on the case.