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Assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin deadly weapon was axed from 2019 movie over gun incident

Not first weapon incident

The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fired from a movie back in 2019 over a weapon being "unexpectedly discharged."

Hutchins tragically lost her life on the set of Western Rust on Thursday, when Baldwin fired a gun he believed to be "cold" - meaning it did not contain any live rounds.

David Halls - the first assistant director on the movie - handed Baldwin the gun, and it has now emerged that he was fired from the film Freedom's Path two years ago when a crew member was injured in a similar incident.

"First of all, our condolences go out to everyone affected by the recent tragic event in New Mexico," a Freedom's Path producer told Deadline.

"I can confirm that Dave Halls was fired from the set of Freedom's Path in 2019 after a crew member incurred a minor and temporary injury when a gun was unexpectedly discharged. Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time."

A production source told Deadline that the crew member was back on set in less than a week and a replacement AD and armourer were hired almost immediately. A release date for Freedom's Path, starring RJ Cyler and Gerran Howell, has yet to be announced.

Deadline also noted that Halls, who has yet to publicly comment on Hutchins' death, "had a personal-behaviour complaint filed against him two years ago while working on Blumhouse TV's anthology series Into the Dark."

Production on the set of Rust has been shuttered indefinitely following the tragedy, which also saw director Joel Souza hospitalized when he was grazed by the bullet.

A press conference is due to be held by the Santa Fe's Sheriff's Office on Wednesday to provide an update on the investigation.



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