The assistant director of “Rust” who allegedly handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins had previously allowed unsafe working conditions on the set of another production, a former colleague said.
Dave Halls came off at first as an “older, affable first [assistant director] with the usual run of idiosyncrasies” while filming Hulu’s “Into the Dark,” prop maker Maggie Goll told NBC News.
“But that facade soon disappeared,” Goll, special effects technician and pyrotechnician who began work on the set in February 2019, said in a statement to the news outlet.
“He did not maintain a safe working environment. Sets were almost always allowed to become increasingly claustrophobic, no established fire lanes, exits blocked … safety meetings were nonexistent,” she continued.
Goll recalled how Halls pushed to continue filming after the production’s lead pyrotechnician had experienced a medical emergency and the set had become unsafe.
She also claimed that Halls neglected to hold safety meetings or inform the crew ahead of time that there was a firearm on the set.
“There is absolutely no reason that gun safety should be ignored on set, even when it is a non-firing prop firearm,” Goll told NBC News.
“The only reason the crew was made aware of a weapon’s presence was because the assistant prop master demanded Dave acknowledge and announce the situation each day,” she added.
A rep for Blumhouse Television, which produced “Into the Dark” with Hulu, said they couldn’t comment “on personnel matters,” NBC News reported.
Halls didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Officers responded to a call on the set of “Rust,” near Santa Fe, New Mexico Thursday after Baldwin had unknowingly fired a gun a live round, fatally striking 42-year-old Hutchins and injuring 48-year-old Director Joel Souza.
Halls had shouted that the weapon was a “cold gun” — meaning that it was safe to use — before giving it to Baldwin, according to a search warrant issued on Friday.
No charges have been filed related to the incident.
Production sources on Rust said that they questioned whether Halls followed proper procedure before the tragic incident, The Daily Beast reported.