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Rust director describes the moment he was shot by Alec Baldwin – and reveals what the gunsmith told him


A director has described the moment he was shot by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust – and revealed what the film’s gunsmith told him immediately afterwards.

Baldwinlead actor and co-producer of the film, was holding the gun when she shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set near Santa Fe on October 21, 2021.

Rust director Joel Souza was hit by the same bullet that killed Ms. Hutchins, but took no legal action.

Weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is on trial for involuntary manslaughter.

Baldwin, 65, will face a separate trial on the same charges in July. Both pleaded not guilty, with Baldwin saying he never pulled the trigger.

Called to testify at Gutierrez-Reed’s trial Friday, Mr. Souza recalled that he stood behind Ms. Hutchins to get a closer look at the camera angle — but never saw the gun who had shot him.

Alex Baldwin
Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust

“I got up behind her just to try and see on the monitor and there was an incredibly loud bang,” he told the court. “It was deafening.”

Describing the moment he saw Gutierrez-Reed after he was shot, he added: “I remember her saying ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry Joel.’

“And I remember someone yelling at him and making him go out.”

The accused Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, former gunsmith on the set of the film "Rust"Gutierrez-Reed is charged with involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the western.  (Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool)
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in court on February 26. Photo: AP

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Jurors on Thursday saw footage of Baldwin brandishing a gun before the shooting.

They also heard the deputy director David Hallswho took a plea bargain last year for negligent use of a deadly weapon, received a six-month suspended prison sentence.

David Halls, Rust's former first assistant director, testifies at the trial of gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez in New Mexico.  Photo: Gabriela Campos/Santa Fe New Mexican/AP
First assistant director David Halls. Photo: AP

He was emotional at times as he told the court: “I was negligent in properly checking the gun.”

His testimony also included the fact that he was standing about a meter from Ms Hutchins when the single shot rang out. While she was on the ground, he asked her if she was okay.

“She said, ‘I can’t feel my legs,’” he said.

Halls said he struggled to understand how a live bullet could have been fired. “The idea that it was a live munition that exploded…that was not computer-based,” he said.

Halls also defended Baldwin, saying the actor did not put his safety at risk by rushing production, as prosecutors allege.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers say the problems on set were beyond her control. Prosecutors say she is responsible for bringing live ammunition to the set, which is against the law.

The trial continues.


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