Story at a glance

  • Dave Halls, who handed Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed a cinematographer last week, had been involved in a similar incident while working on the upcoming film “Freedom’s Path.”
  • Complaints over Halls’ alleged disregard for safety protocols and misconduct on set date back to 2019.
  • Investigators have confirmed that Halls told Baldwin the prop gun was safe to use.

The assistant director who gave Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins last week on the set of “Rust” had been fired years earlier following a similar incident that wounded another crew member.

Assistant director Dave Halls had been the subject of several safety complaints dating back to 2019, CNN reported this week, including multiple crew concerns over his alleged laissez-faire attitude toward weapons on set.

Halls was fired and “removed from the set immediately” in 2019 after a gun was unexpectedly discharged on the set of “Freedom’s Path,” where the earlier incident occurred, an unnamed producer told The Associated Press (AP) this week.

Unlike the fatal mistake on the set of “Rust,” the crew member who had been accidentally shot sustained only minor injuries.


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Another crew member who had worked with Halls on the Hulu horror series “Into the Dark” said she had filed an internal complaint about Halls’ behavior in 2019. Halls ignored safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics on set, Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, told the AP. Goll said Halls even once tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness from a diabetic episode.

"To my knowledge nothing was done after my complaints," she said in a statement.

Halls has also been accused by others who have worked with him of blocking fire lanes and exits while filming and sexual misconduct at work, according to CNN.

An investigation into the incident on the set of “Rust” is ongoing and production has been suspended indefinitely. No charges have been filed as of yet, but officials are expected to provide an update on the investigation Wednesday.

Baldwin wrote on Twitter that he was “fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”

Investigators have said that Halls confirmed to Baldwin that the prop was a “cold gun,” after handing it to him, indicating that it was safe to use on set. The scene in question did not call for the use of live rounds, according to an affidavit released Sunday that included a statement from director Joel Souza.

Halls could not immediately be reached for comment.


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Published on Oct 26, 2021