'Rust' shooting: Assistant director Dave Halls backs Alec Baldwin's claim he didn't shoot the gun

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4-min read

Alec Baldwin said he "didn't pull the trigger" on the prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust set — and assistant director Dave Halls is backing him up. 

On Thursday's Good Morning America, Halls's attorney, Lisa Torraco, said her client has maintained "since day one" that Baldwin's finger was "never in the trigger guard" when the gun fired on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set outside Santa Fe. Also, Seth Kenney, who had his PDQ Arm & Prop business in Albuquerque searched by authorities this week, spoke out for the first time.

"The entire time Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard — parallel to the barrel," Torraco said of Halls's account of the shooting in which director Joel Souza was also shot. "He told me since day one that he thought it was a misfire." 

Torraco said until Baldwin said that he didn't pull the trigger, in a preview clip from his ABC News interview airing Thursday night, "it was really hard to believe. But Dave has told me from the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger."

Halls, who was just feet away from Baldwin and Hutchins during the shooting, which also injured director Joel Souza, has also maintained "since day one that it was an accident," Torraco said. "It was a pure accident — freak, awful accident [that] unfortunately killed somebody."

Torraco said Hall is "heartbroken" over the tragedy and the scrutiny he's been under — as the one who authorities said took the gun from armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and passed to on to Baldwin without thoroughly inspecting it. "It's very, very painful and very hard for him."

Torraco also said she'd be "shocked" if Halls faced criminal charges, saying, "He had no responsibility, no liability and certainly not at the level of criminal liability."

As for Kenney, he said in his first interview that PDQ Arm & Prop supplied the guns — of which there were three, including the antique F.LLI Pietta Long Colt .45 caliber revolver in question — blanks and dummy rounds for the movie. He provided the receipts to ABC News.

However, Kenney said the live ammo seized from his business when the search warrant was executed doesn't match the live rounds they found on the set.

"They found four rounds that were close enough to take in with them," Kenney said. "They're not a match, but they were enough. There's something very unique about the live rounds that were found on Rust, but we've got to wait for the FBI to do its job."

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department took into evidence from the set three guns, 500 rounds of ammunition (a mix of live, dummy rounds and blanks), the fatal projectile (removed from Souza's shoulder) and spent casings, which were sent to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Va., for analysis. There shouldn't have been any live rounds on the set — and nobody, including the armorer, claims to know where they came from.

Kenney said that he wasn't the only weapons provider for Rust, an 1880s western film centered around actor/producer Baldwin's character. 

"There were other dummy rounds that were integral to the gun belts," worn by the actors, Kenney said. "Those rounds we can't speak to."

The search warrant executed earlier this week also noted that Gutierrez Reed's father, Thell Reed —who's also a weapons expert, but didn't work on this film — told them the live ammo could have been left over from a previous training session, for a different film, that he worked with Kenney on.  

Kenney denied this saying he's confident that his business didn't send those live rounds to the Rust set — even accidentally.

"It's not a possibility that they came from PDQ or from myself personally," he said. "When we send dummy rounds out, they get individually rattle tested before."

Kenney said he's cooperating with the investigation and, like authorities, said that the forensics analysis — including fingerprinting and DNA analysis — will be a big part of figuring out how the live round got into the prop gun.

There are multiple lawsuits over the shooting and Hutchins's husband has retained counsel. 

Baldwin's first TV interview since the shooting airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC News. 

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