According to a report, Alec Baldwin’s Western film had a medic on set who immediately recognized that there had indeed been a serious mistake.

Cherlyn Schaefer heard a ‘loud shot’ which surprised her, according to the medic’s report from the immediate aftermath of the shooting, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

She claimed that the noise was unanticipated because the Rust film crew in New Mexico desert wasn’t meant to use special effects at that time. 

‘Are we rehearsing? According to Schaefer, “Fire in the hole” wasn’t called.”

The expression “fire inside the hole” means special effects are being used to cause an explosion.

After hearing someone call’medic emergencies’ after the bang, she ran to the church where the first scene was being set up after lunch. 

Cherlyn Schaefer, the on-set medic, said that she was immediately surprised at the noise of the gunshot

Cherlyn Schaefer was the on-set medic and said she was shocked at the sound of the gunshots.

Born in Ukraine and raised on a Soviet military base 'surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines', Halyna, 42, had trained as a journalist and spent time in Europe working on British documentaries before making the move to Los Angeles, where she had established her career

An inconsolable Alec Baldwin is shown outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office after accidentally shooting and killing the cinematographer on Thursday

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot with a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the movie set in New Mexico on Thursday 

Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days before the fatal shooting

Baldwin and Hutchins are shown together (circled) on the set at Rust. This image was uploaded to Instagram by Baldwin two days before the fatal shooting.

Schaefer claimed that she heard people say that Halyna Hutchins (42), was shot in the chest.

Baldwin, the film’s star was practicing a scene in the church where he pointed the gun directly at camera. 

Joel Souza, 48 was the film director and stood behind Hutchins. Also, the shoulder had been shot.

Schaefer stated in her report that she asked a colleague for pressure to be applied to the patient’s wound as someone called 911.

The audio of the 911 call was released on Friday. It showed Mamie Mitchell summoning help.

Mitchell immediately blamed Mitchell’s assistant director for the film’s failure.

While the phone operator is inputting the details, Mitchell can be heard telling someone else: ‘OK, this f****** AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherf*****.

“Did you witness him leaning over my desk and shouting at me?” He’s supposed check the guns. He is responsible for what happened. 

Alec Baldwin is seen on the set of Rust with fake blood earlier Thursday, hours before he shot and killed the film's cinematographer. He shared this photo on Instagram with the caption "Back to in person at the office. Blimey…it’s exhausting." Filming was halted following the fatal incident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set in Santa Fe

Baldwin is seen in a costume that has been covered in fake blood in an Instagram photo 

The Bonanza Creek ranch in New Mexico, outside of Santa Fe, is seen during filming of Rust. Baldwin is believed to have shot and killed Hutchins inside this church

During filming of Rust, you can see the Bonanza Creek ranch in New Mexico. Baldwin is believed by have killed Hutchins inside the church.

Production of the film has stopped now in light of the tragedy. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department is investigating and 'collecting evidence', a spokesman said on Friday

The tragedy has forced the production to halt. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and ‘collecting information’, a spokesperson said Friday 

According to a Santa Fe court warrant, the gun was one the three that Hannah Gutierrez (the film’s armorer) had placed on a cart just outside the wooden structure in which a scene was being acted. 

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed a gun from the cart and brought the gun inside to Baldwin. However, he was not aware that it was loaded up with live rounds. This was documented in the search warrant application.

It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio. 

It was not clear how many rounds were fired. 

Gutierrez removed the shell casing from the gun and handed it over to police, according to court records. 

Schaefer took care of Hutchins before emergency medical personnel arrived. 

According to the report, she found a cut in Hutchins’s back, and started applying pressure to it. Then, she found a second. 

She described how she began to give Hutchins oxygen by wearing a mask.

As EMTs arrived, she assisted Hutchins on a gurney, before turning to Souza. Souza was released from the hospital on Friday. 

Schaefer wrote in a section of the report titled “detailed cause” that “Something was shot from a prop pistol.”

As employees of the company reel from Thursday’s events a worrying picture emerges regarding safety protocols on set.

Hutchins, born in Ukraine, was fondly remembered by those who worked with her on the set of Rust

Hutchins was born in Ukraine and was fondly remembered among those who worked with them on the set Rust.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez, 24, is the daughter of legendary armorer and firearms consultant Thell Reed, who trained her from a young age

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds

Friday’s search warrant revealed that Hannah Gutierrez (left), an armorer, had placed three prop guns on a cart outside of the filming location. Assistant director Dave Halls (right), then grabbed the gun and brought it inside to Baldwin. It is unknown if Mitchell was referring specifically to Halls in this audio.

Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Many Saints of Newark, told The Associated Press that he was shocked by the on-set shooting.

‘They always — that I know of — they check it so you can see,’ he said.

Joel Souza, the director of Rust, is seen in November 2019. He was reportedly shot in the shoulder

Joel Souza (director of Rust) is seen in November 2019 He was reportedly shot in his shoulder

“They give it to the person at whom you are pointing the gun. 

“They do it to you, the producer. 

“They show anyone that it doesn’t work.” 

According to The Wall Street Journal there were at least two accidental firings of prop firearms in Santa Fe, New Mexico prior to the fatal shooting. 

People who spoke to Insider said that Halls had raised alarm with his directions in the past.

Melissa Low Lyon, a former on-set dresser of Hulu’s horror series Into the Dark, claimed that Halls caused concern when he instructed actor Creed Bratton in 2019 to perform a stunt in which his character was supposed be shot in the head. 

Bratton said to Halls that the scene was worrying and that he was uneasy about Halls’ actions. Bratton was afraid that the dummy bullet could still strike his eye. However, Halls forced him to continue, Lyon claimed.

Lyon said that Creed expressed concern as he stated that ‘it’sn’t going to get my eyes is it’. 

‘And then as soon as it happened, he said ‘I f****** knew it.”

Lyon stated that Halls was ‘volatile and difficult to work alongside’.

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed

An aerial view of Santa Fe’s Bonanza Creek Ranch from the air. This is where the movie was shot.


Lyon stated that Dave is very confrontational and doesn’t want anyone to listen. He’ll do things the same way he did on Rust, grab it and do it himself.   


Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding Hutchins’ death and that of the director’s injury. However, past accidents involving guns on sets for movies offer a variety of possibilities as to what could have caused the tragedy. 

Baldwin fired a gun, and a Squib Load was created.

Baldwin may have used a prop gun to keep an object from getting stuck in its barrel. This is known as a “squib load” and it occurs when a cartridge isn’t fired from its barrel because the gas isn’t strong enough for it to move out. 

It is not dangerous by itself and can be fixed if it is safely cleared. However, if someone continues firing shots from the same gun – live as well as dead – it could be very dangerous. 

If a second shot is fired behind the stickied round, it can cause the weapon or other people to explode. 

An accidental loaded bullet or part of one was used instead of a blank. 

Baldwin immediately reacted to the firing of the gun by asking why he was given a ‘hot gun’, which means one that contained live bullets. 

That’s what happened during the 1993 filming of actor Brandon Bruce Lee at The Crow. 

While the gun was believed to have been loaded with blanks by those on set, an autopsy revealed that a.44 caliber cartridge was found near Lee’s spine. 

Police recovered the dummy shell cases from the set. 

A dummy, which is different from a blank, looks just like a live round, with a bullet at its tip. 

The difference between live rounds and blanks is the tip of the cartridge where the lethal bullet is contained is not there on a blank. Sometimes they are replaced with cotton or paper. Dummy bullets, unlike blanks, look like ordinary bullets but aren't meant to contain the metal bullet tip either

The difference between live rounds or blanks is that the tip of a cartridge where the lethal shot is contained is not present on a blank. Sometimes they can be replaced with cotton or other paper. Dummy bullets look like regular bullets, but they don’t contain the metal bullet tip. 

Blast from a blank struck something on set

It is possible that the blank struck another object, damaged it and sent pieces flying towards Hutchins. 

Rhys Muldoon, who has used guns on sets many times and believes even blanks can be dangerous, speculated at this possibility telling the BBC: “This is a close-up of an actor firing a gun, very close to the frame, and then something has either fallen off the French Flag, or the black box, like a piece of the camera, and hit the director aswell.” 

However, experts in film say that even in these cases, there should be greater safeguards. 

‘If your face is in the line of flame… You would wear a face-mask, you would wear goggles, and you would stand behind Perspex screens to minimize the number people that are being photographed. 

‘What I don’t understand in this instance is how two people have been injured, one tragically killed, in the same event,’ Steven Hall, who has worked on films such as Fury and The Imitation Game, told BBC.  

Halls was previously fired from Freedom’s Path in 2019, following an accident involving a firearm. 

Unexpectedly, the weapon in this production exploded. A sound crew member was injured and had to seek medical attention. 

Freedom’s Path remains in production and is expected for release next year.  

Rock Soul Studios, the film’s producer, fired him. 

CNN was informed by the company about the incident Monday, as other members of the industry gathered to trash Halls. They called him unprofessional and negligent. 

The Pale Door, a horror Western, was released in August 2020. A second assistant director quit to protest the treatment of Halls and his coworkers.

Danny Hulsey said that Halls, the first assistant director was always ‘rushing everyone’ and ‘rude about everything’.

Insider heard from Hulsey that he didn’t see safety violations, but was angry at Halls’ attitude. 

Halls has not commented either on the 2019 incident or the 2020 confrontation or the Rust shoot.  

Rust had a low budget and producers wanted Rust to make a movie at the same cost as an episode of a high-end drama. This was approximately $6-$7 million.

It was also on a tight 21-day filming schedule, according to Deadline.

According to some, the budget led to constraints. 

Neal W. Zoromski is a veteran prop master who said he turned down Rust’s offer to join them because they wouldn’t give him the team that he requested.

Zoromski told The Los Angeles Times he initially asked for a department of five technicians, which would be standard in the business.  

He then changed his request to two crew members with experience: an assistant prop master, and an armorer who handles prop guns. 

He claimed that he was told that the movie could only afford one person to handle all these tasks, so he turned down this job.

He stated that there were many red flags.

‘I felt like an accident was about to happen after I hit’send” on the last email. 

According to the production company behind this film, they had no prior problems. 

Rust Movie Productions stated in a statement that although they were not made aware by any official complaints regarding prop or weapon safety on set, they will be conducting an internal review while production is stopped.

The company emailed the actors and crew to inform them that production was being halted. However, they called it a ‘pause rather than an ending’.

On Monday, Deadline reported that film and television studios are now reviewing their gun safety policies and exploring possible changes.

The Rookie, ABC’s police drama, has announced that they will no more use real guns. Instead, cast and crew will be using airsoft guns. These are replica guns with lower power that typically fire plastic pellets. 

Airsoft guns have been used in several high-profile TV and movie shows, including The Walking Dead and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Killjoys and 28 Weeks Later. 

Many people in the industry were calling for changes. 

Nick Sinnott, an Emmy-winning visual effects supervisor who has worked on Avatar and Star Wars: Episode 1, tweeted: ‘vfx artist here, to everyone saying muzzle flashes added in post are as good as the real deal: yes, of course they are, it’s the easiest thing, what the f***.’

Megan Griffiths, Director: “I get pushback when i demand completely disabled non-firing weapon on set, but that is why. 

Mistakes happen and mistakes can kill. There is no need to fire a gun on the first set. 

‘Muzzle flashes are the easiest & cheapest visual effect. ‘Why are we still doing it?’ 

Craig Zobel is Mare of Easttown’s director. He stated, “There’s no reason for guns loaded with blanks or any other stuff on set anymore. 

“Should be completely outlawed. There are computers. 

“The gunshots at Mare of Easttown are all digital. You can probably tell the difference, but who cares. It’s an unnecessary risk.

“He’s supposed check the guns, and he’s responsible”: Panicked 911 calls from Alec Baldwin tragedy reveal that the script supervisor blamed the assistant director for the death of cinematographer. But why did ANY gun have live ammunition? 

Audio recordings of 911 calls made in Rust by Alec Baldwin’s crew have revealed desperate attempts to save their colleague and allegations of negligence.

Mamie Mitchell was the film’s script supervisor after Baldwin had accidentally shot Halyna Utchins, 42, as well as Joel Souza, 48.

The tragedy struck as the group was filming the Western film in the desert near Santa Fe, New Mexico on Thursday.

Mitchell, a veteran script supervisor whose credits date back to 1974, calls the assistant director and accuses him of negligence.

Mitchell calls 911 and tells her that she needs an ambulance at Bonanza Creek Ranch. Two people were shot accidentally on a movie set.

Mitchell is calling to instruct another person to clear the road so that the ambulance can get to the site.

Mitchell is then transported to Santa Fe fire & EMS and, sounding panicked urges for a rapid response.

‘Bonanza Creek ranch. Two people were accidentally shot on a movie-set prop gun.

“We need immediate help. Bonanza Creek ranch. Come on.

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, the Assistant Director for Rust is the Western movie Baldwin was producing and acting in when he accidentally killed Hutchins.

Mitchell is then asked for her details by the 911 operators.

Mitchell, who worked on films like No Country For Old Men and Sicario can be heard saying: “It sounds as if somebody else is calling ambulances.”

“Everybody should be. We need some assistance.

“Our director and our camerawoman have been shot.”

She then asks a set member: “Are they going take him to the highway?”

The 911 operator asks: “So, was it loaded avec a real gun or not?”

Mitchell replies, “I don’t, I cannot tell that.” Two injuries have resulted from a movie-gunshot.

While the phone operator is inputting the details, Mitchell can be heard telling someone else: ‘OK, this f****** AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherf*****.

“Did you witness him leaning over my desk and shouting at me?” He’s supposed check the guns. He is responsible for what happened. 

According to a Santa Fe court warrant, the gun was one the three that Hannah Gutierrez (the film’s armorer) had set on a cart just outside the wooden structure in which a scene was being acted. 

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed a gun from the cart and brought the gun inside to Baldwin. However, he was not aware that it was loaded up with live rounds. This was documented in the search warrant application.

It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio. 

It was unclear how many rounds had been fired. Gutierrez removed the shell casing from the gun following the shooting and handed it over to police, according to court records.

The 911 operator attempts to ask Mitchell how many were injured. Mitchell confusedly replies, “No, no, I’m not a script supervisor.”

Mitchell replies, “Two that are known to me.” I was just sitting there, rehearsing when the camera went off and I ran. We all went there together, but we doubled up on the camerawoman as well as the director.

She tells another woman: “They are clearing roads. Can you go back in the town, or in the Western camp?

Mitchell is flustered and hands the phone over.

“Hello?” The man replies, “Hello?”

“Hi, I have some questions that I need to be asked.” “If you could answer them as well as possible,” the 911 operator said. “Are they fully alert?”

The man replied, “Yes, they are alert.”

Operator asks if bleeding is controlled. The man replies, “Let’s see what I can do to make it closer…” No.

It is unclear if the man is implying that the bleeding is not controlled or that he cannot get closer.

“We’ve got one laid down,” he informs the operator, adding that they are close to gate one and have a van available for escorting the ambulances to the spot.

A devastated Baldwin is pictured bent over outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office on Thursday after speaking to investigators

After speaking to investigators, Baldwin is seen lying on his back outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

A woman then calls back, saying “Hi, this is Bonanza Creek Ranch.” We actually need two ambulances and not one.

The operator responds: “OK, so now we’re calling someone else and we’ll get two of you up.”

The woman, her voice strained, responds: “OK.” Is that 10 to 15 minutes?

The operator replies, “I don’t know – we’re getting them right away, to you now,”

“What?” What? The woman sounds panicked, as she talks to another person.

“We have two ambulances on their way.”

“What?” “What?” she asks. The woman then says, and then speaks to the operator again: “OK, thank-you.”

Operator replies: “You’re welcomed, bye.” 

Mitchell later stated that Mitchell was standing next Hutchins when she shot Mitchell.

Mitchell said that he ran to 911 and said, “Bring everyone, send everybody.” 

“This woman is gone at a young age.” She was an extraordinary, rare, and very rare woman.

Mitchell said that Mitchell and other crewmembers were attending a private funeral service Friday night in Santa Fe.

Baldwin described the killing in a tragic accident.

“There are no words to express my shock and sadness over the tragic accident that claimed Halyna Hutchins’s life, a wife, mother, and highly admired colleague of mine. Baldwin posted on Twitter that he was fully cooperating with police investigations. 

“My heart breaks for her husband, their son and all who loved Halyna.

Juan Rios, sheriff’s spokesperson, said that Baldwin was allowed to travel and no charges were immediately filed.

‘He’s a free man,’ Rios said.