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Alec Baldwin shouldn’t have pointed gun at crew, says movie arms expert

The fatal shooting of photography director Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of movie Rust leaves ‘many questions unanswered’, says movie arms expert Mike Tristano who has previously worked with the star

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The Alec Baldwin shooting leaves ‘many questions unanswered’ as even a prop gun ‘should never have been pointed at a crew member,’ an arms movie expert has claimed.

On Thursday 63-year-old actor Alec fatally struck director of photography Halyna Hutchins on the set of movie Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Writer-director Joel Souza was also wounded in the incident and taken to hospital by ambulance.

A spokesperson for the movie production company has described the shooting as an ‘accident’ and said it involved ‘the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.’

Mike Tristano, a professional armourer based in California who has worked on films with Baldwin before, said he is bewildered as to how the tragedy happened.




Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot her with a prop gun on set of movie Rust
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Image:

Halyna Hutchins/Instagram)




Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, Mike said “You never point a gun at a crew member. I am at a loss as to how this could have happened and how it could have done that much damage.

“I’ve never heard of anyone being killed by a prop gun.

“I don’t know any blank that could do that type of damage,” he told host Rachel Burden.



A movie arms expert has said he is bewildered as to how the incident could have happened
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Image:

Getty Images for National Geogra)




“There are all different types of prop guns. There are prop guns that are only made to fire blanks and there are real guns that are used on set – which a lot of the time are converted to fire blanks.

“On a Western, which I believe this was, the guns would probably be real Western single-action weapons or lever action Winchesters, though I have not heard what type of gun it was that was used by Mr Baldwin.”

The armourer expert said that blank guns typically used on set do not release a projectile at all.

“When we use blanks on a film set… I mean you can go out to the store and buy blanks.

“We use movie blanks, and there’s a big difference, the blanks that we use on movie sets they are crimped casings so there can never be any kind of projectile involved.



Santa Fe County Sheriff Deputies are investigating the incident that has shut down the “Rust” movie set on Bonanza Creek Ranch
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Image:

KOB 4)




“The only thing that comes out of those casings is powder, which in Western you need power to simulate the flash and smoke.

“But there should not be any projectile coming out of the blank,” he insisted.

He told host Rachel Burden: “There are many questions that need to be asked here. Absolutely.”

“I have heard of incidents where people who are not professional armours or weapon handlers and they don’t know the difference between the correct blank to use.

“If some how this was a live round, as I’ve heard rumours of that, but I don’t know how a live round would get on a movie set, I mean we don’t ever carry live ammunition on any film.”



Alec FaceTimed his wife Hilaria on the set of Rust hours before the tragedy
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Image:

Hilaria Baldwin/Instagram)







Halyna Hutchins died after being airlifted to hospital on Thursday
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Image:

2018 Getty Images)




He continued: “I don’t know any blank that could do that kind of damage. There are so many questions here as to what was in that gun.

“And the other big question: Why was was that gun pointed at a crew person?

“Whenever we set up a shot on set we set up the gun to fire, we actually give the actor an aiming point to fire the gun at so he knows he’s firing it a safe position.

“Even if in a scene it looks like a gun is pointed at another actor because there’s a gun fight, the gun is never pointed at that actor.

“It will always be at least three feet to the left or right, although the camera angle will make it look as though as it’s pointed directly at him.



Alec was described as a ‘true professional’ by armourer Mike Testino, who has previously worked with the actor
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Image:

Getty Images)




Testino has worked with Alec before and describes the Hollywood movie star as ‘very professional and very safe.’

He said the pair worked on a film where there was a ‘lot of gun play in it’ which Alec was directly involved with.

“I never had an issue with him. He was totally professional. And very safe.

“When I heard it was him I was like, ‘God how can this be?””

He added: “There has to be circumstances we don’t know about yet.”



Secretly the couple welcomed her sixth child María Lucía Victoria; their latest addition to the family is Alec’s seventh child as he shares eldest daughter Ireland with his ex-wife Kim Basinger
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Image:

Getty Images North America)




A distraught Baldwin was pictured doubled over and seemingly in tears outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

No criminal charges have been filed, but police said a criminal investigation into the incident is currently active to determine the circumstances of Hutchins’ death.

The 42-year-old was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, authorities said.

Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre, where he is undergoing treatment.


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