Asst. Director Who Handed Alec Baldwin Prop Gun Terminated from Previous Film After Firearm Incident: Reports

·3 min read

Rust assistant director David Halls, who handed Alec Baldwin a prop gun moments before the fatal on-set shooting last week, was reportedly terminated from a previous film after a situation involving a firearm injured a crew member.

Halls was the assistant director on 2019's Freedom's Path when a gun unexpectedly discharged on the Arkansas set. A crew member from the sound department reportedly jumped back from the blast and incurred an injury, the film's producers told Deadline and CNN.

"Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site," producers told both outlets. "An incident report was taken and filed at that time."

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The unnamed producers also told CNN that Halls "was very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated."

"A new assistant director as well as a new armorer were hired for the duration of principal photography. Production of the film finished successfully," producers added to CNN.

Freedom's Path was produced by Rocket Soul Studios. The production company did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. PEOPLE has also been unable to reach Halls for comment.

Alec Baldwin - Halyna Hutchins
Alec Baldwin - Halyna Hutchins

Jim Spellman/Getty; Fred Hayes/Getty

RELATED: Rust Crew Member Details Troubling 'Red Flags' on Set Ahead of Fatal Shooting

Authorities in New Mexico are currently investigating the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday. Baldwin, 63, shot a prop firearm while rehearsing a scene on the set of the movie Rust, killing Hutchins, 42. Director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured in the incident but was released from the hospital the following day.

According to a search warrant affidavit from the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office, Halls picked up a prop gun from a rolling cart prepared by the armorer and handed it to Baldwin moments before the fatal shooting.

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As he retrieved the weapon, Halls yelled "Cold Gun!" (a phrase that is meant to indicate that the gun is not loaded and is safe to handle). Neither Baldwin nor Halls were aware that there were live rounds in the gun.

Halls has not commented publicly on the situation.

Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins

James Gourley/Shutterstock Halyna Hutchins

Baldwin first spoke out regarding the incident on Friday morning, writing on Twitter, "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."

"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family," he continued. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

RELATED: Rust Gaffer Says He Held Halyna Hutchins 'While She Was Dying,' Blames Her Death on 'Negligence'

The Rust film set has been shut down and production indefinitely paused following Hutchins' death, according to the production company, Rust Movie Productions, LLC.

In an email to the film's crew obtained by PEOPLE, the Rust production team said, "We are conducting an internal review of safety protocols. As with any ongoing investigation, we are limited in our ability to say anything further publicly or privately, and ask for your patience in that regards."

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