The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun loaded with live ammunition that he used to accidentally kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was previously fired from the production of Freedom’s Path in 2019 after another accident involving a gun. 

Dave Halls was present on set when the weapon in the production suddenly fired. A sound crew member was injured and had to seek medical attention. 

Freedom’s Path is still being produced and will be released next year.  

Rock Soul Studios, which produced the movie, fired him. 

CNN reported the incident Monday by the company. Other industry workers lined up to trash Halls, calling Halls unprofessional, ‘barbaric, and negligent. 

Halls has not spoken out on Thursday’s tragedy. 

David Halls is the Assistant Director of Rust, the Western movie Baldwin was acting in and producing when he accidentally killed Hutchins on Thursday and wounded director Joel Souza

David Halls is the Assistant Director of Rust. Baldwin was starring in and producing the Western movie when he accidentally killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Halls was working on the set of Freedom's Path in 2019 when the gun 'unexpectedly discharged'. He was fired then replaced. The movie has not been released yet

Halls was working on Freedom’s Path in 2019 and the gun suddenly went off. He was then fired and replaced. The movie has not yet been released 

Rock Soul Studios stated in a statement that Halls was removed from the set immediately following the discharge of the prop gun. The production was stopped from continuing filming until Dave was away. A report on an incident was completed and filed at that point. 

‘After wrapping production, Dave Halls was officially fired and informed of the reasons. 

“Dave was deeply sorry for the events and understood why he was being fired. 

“An assistant director and a new armorer were hired to help with principal photography.” The film was produced successfully. 

According to police reports, Halls is the one who gave Baldwin the gun loaded up with real bullets (or at least one live round) instead of blanks. 

He had taken the weapon from a tray that had three guns on. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s 24-year old armorer, was the other person responsible for the weapons. Her experience has been questioned in light of the tragedy. 

Halls handed Baldwin the revolver and declared it a cold gun’. After a loud pop, the gun fired and Hutchins was hit in the abdomen. Serge Sventoy held her and she later died in the hospital. spoke to former members of the camera and prop crew who worked with Halls on a previous project. They said that he was a flippant about safety.  

Baldwin was handed the gun and was told by Halls that it was 'cold'. He was practicing a cross draw when it went off, fatally wounding Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza

Baldwin was handed the gun and was told by Halls that it was 'cold'. He was practicing a cross draw when it went off, fatally wounding Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza

Baldwin was handed the gun by Halls, who told him that it was cold’. Baldwin was practicing cross draws when the gun went off. It killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Halls’ 2019 film Darlin’ crew member said that he treated his junior staff with contempt, yelling at them and making fun of them when they weren’t there. 

‘Another crew member who previously worked in the art department of one of Halls’ films told that he is ‘barbaric’ in his treatment of junior crewmembers, and would drink ‘a gallon of vodka a day’.

“He’s really cruel. Towards lower crew, workers, interns and pa’s, mean, and not well-regarded. When producers are around, he doesn’t stray too far but when they aren’t he’s really nasty.

‘He’d say “this looks like s**t, who picked this out”. He did it to the wardrobe, not necessarily the head of the wardrobe, but the people who were doing the work. You’d hear him snip and chirp,’ he said. 

A different crew member, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being blacklisted, told that he’d worked with Halls on two similarly low-budget sets in Los Angeles in spring 2019, one where a revolver and Glock were used, and another involving shotguns. 

Each morning they’d have a meeting to discuss the weapons and other safety issues, an industry standard. But he said Halls didn’t think they were needed.

‘He was very flippant about my insistence on having a safety meeting about the weapons, on both of the sets,’ said the crew member, who asked to use the pseudonym “Jay” and has worked on films for 10 years.

‘He would rush through it and say, alright guys, be safe, let’s get to work.’

He said, “Even though the guns weren’t loaded, you must treat it as if they were always loaded.” “And for me that means doing a safety meeting that may be seen as unnecessary but should absolutely be done so that everyone is on the same page.”

 ‘He would rush through it and say, alright guys, be safe, let’s get to work’

‘Systemically, so much pressure is put on the first assistant directors to meet a schedule, to ‘make the day,’ meaning to get all the work done that you already have scheduled for the day,’ he continued. 

“When it comes safety on set, or waiting for anything, safety takes time. I have seen 1st ADs get annoyed at having to wait. 

“But they eventually understood it needed to be done. But when I worked with him, it was the only time I’ve had any AD ask me, “Do we really need to have a safety meeting?”‘

Both sets were free from live bullets and guns were not pointed at anyone. The guns appeared to be on target because of the angles of the cameras. The ‘armorer, or person responsible for weapons on set, would shine a flashlight through the barrel to show there was no blockage or potential projectile before anyone touched a trigger.

Jay stated that no projectile should be fired when you fire. However, it could still prove to be dangerous. ‘That’s where there are rules. You don’t aim it at anybody at any time.’

Halls has removed his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and has not commented on the shooting

Halls has removed his LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and has not commented on this shooting. 

Sources on the set of Rust said the incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins could be tied to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

 Sources on the set of Rust said the incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins could be tied to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

He stated that an assistant director would never touch the gun in any instance.

Jay stated, “His job is check the guns visually, check them together with the actor, and with the set steward who is the property person, or the armorer.”

“The gun’s chain of custody should be between the armorer, property person, and the actor who is directly handling it.”

On the set of Rust, Jay said, first of all there shouldn’t have been any live ammunition on the set.

But, he believes Hall is responsible for the tragedy as he reportedly shouted “cold gun” without having visually examined the weapon to ‘clear the gun.

‘That’s what makes me feel he is in every way responsible,’ Jay told

‘First, he was not supposed to handle that prop. Then, he declared the gun a cold gun. It literally takes just a few seconds to check the gun to make sure it’s safe. 

“He didn’t know if it was a cold-gun, so why did he make that announcement?”

The crew were filming a scene inside this church when the shooting happened on Thursday. Production has now been halted

The crew was filming inside the church when the shooting occurred on Thursday. Production has been halted


October 24,

Dear all,

As we mourn the loss and grief of Halyna Hutchins, our hearts are with you all. We are family, and we need to stand alongside each other during difficult times. We remain in close touch with Halyna’s family and commend the strength they show in the face of unspeakable tragedy. It is truly an inspiration.

We also want you to know that Joel Souza has been undergoing rehabilitation. We are there to support him in any way we can, knowing how difficult it is.

We want you to know that we continue to cooperate with the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Department as they conduct their investigation. We are proud of their diligence. We are also conducting an internal review to safety protocols, as you may have heard. We are unable to speak publicly or privately about any ongoing investigation. We appreciate your patience.

As the investigation continues, it is impossible to respond to any comments that have been posted on social media or in the media. We are sorry that you are being contacted by the media in an unsolicited manner. All of us need to grieve and heal. You don’t need to engage, but if you do just ask that the journalists to respect your privacy. It should be helpful.

We want you to be reminded of the support resources that we have made available for you to help you during this difficult time. We encourage you to reach out to the in-person and virtual grief counselors at any time – they are available 24/7.

You can arrange an in-person or virtual session by texting the office at 505-230-8113 with your preferred times and whether you prefer in-person sessions or virtual. A counselor will connect you with a car call specialist.

As we work through this crisis, we have decided to wrap the set at the very least until the investigations are completed.

We are currently working out when you can pick-up your personal items. Tomorrow’s update will be available on the wrap-out schedule.

Although our hearts are broken and it is difficult to see beyond the horizon at times, this is a moment of pause rather than an ending. The spirit that brought all of us to this special spot is still with us.

–The Rust Production Team

We will be making a donation to the Halyna Hutchins Scholarship Fund established by Halyna’s family. Any donations made by the crew will be matched. 

You can find more information here:

‘If it weren’t for the actions he took in those few seconds, I believe Halyna would still be alive,’ he concluded.

Maggie Goll, a pyrotechnician, worked with Halls in 2019 on a Hulu series Into The Dark. She told she complained to the Directors Guild of America after he tried pushing on filming despite a crew member suffering from diabetes.

The crew member was also a certified pyrotechnician and was needed to supervise a scene with a 100-watt fireplace. Goll stated that he fell and she extinguished all flames and called an ambulance. Halls, however, wanted to continue shooting.

She also said that he had ‘neglected safety meetings’ during the same shoot. 

‘Dave did not hold safety meetings or make announcements on a daily basis prior to the appearance on set of a firearm.

“The only reason that the crew was made aware that a weapon was present was because the Assistant Prop Masters demanded Dave acknowledge the situation and announce it each day.

A girl pays her respects at a vigil held for Halyna in Burbank, California, on October 23

A girl pays her respects to Halyna at a vigil in Burbank, California on October 23rd

“This Asst Prop Masters” would announce every day when a gun would need to be on camera, the disposition that weapon would have – whether it was an rubber/plastic replica, non-firing option or a “cold”, functional but unloaded option. This would allow anyone to inspect the weapon prior to bringing the weapon to set and presenting to the talent.

‘The Prop Master was also extremely vigilant in reclaiming any weapons distributed prior to the talent leaving set.

“The Prop Master often reprimanded Dave for not returning props, weapons included, or failing safety announcements. 

She claims that she filed numerous complaints with a safety number and tried to contact Directors Guild of America, but nothing was done. 

‘That was the last I saw of Dave and that AP. That is, until Dave’s name was mentioned in relation to the accident at “Rust.” 

“I feel terrible that I have not pushed for greater accountability and safety.

“Many of us have emailed each other asking the same question: Is there anything we could have done to prevent the tragedy in New Mexico yesterday?” 

She said, “It is a terrible feeling.”

Halls has not yet spoken publicly about the tragedy. He was working alongside Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (24 years old), whose casual approach to gun safety training was questioned by other crew members. 

Baldwin posted a tweet on Friday stating that he was fully cooperating to the police. 

Before Matthew flew to New Mexico, he was in touch with Halyna’s widower Matthew. The pair were photographed together Sunday.