‘Rust’ AD David Halls not responsible for checking gun, lawyer claims

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A lawyer for the “Rust” assistant director who reportedly handed the revolver in the deadly on-set shooting to Alec Baldwin said it wasn’t her client’s responsibility to confirm the gun was unloaded – even though he has told police he should have checked all the rounds.

Attorney Lisa Torraco also insisted in her interview on Fox News Monday that David Halls did not handle the gun the day Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

“This idea my client grabbed the gun and handed it to Baldwin absolutely did not happen,” Torraco said before backtracking and dodging questions about whether the assistant director did hand the gun to Baldwin.

“The armorer brought the weapon in,” she said, referring to Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was working on only her second film in that capacity. “The armorer opens the firearm… [Halls] didn’t load it.”

Torraco told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on “The Story” that Halls was not responsible for making sure the .45-caliber Colt was a “cold gun,” a production term that means the weapon doesn’t contain live rounds and is safe for rehearsal

Alec Baldwin breaks cover to answer questions about the accidental shooting on set in New Mexico.
Alec Baldwin breaks cover to answer questions about the accidental shooting on set in New Mexico.
SplashNews.com

“That’s not the assistant director’s job. If he chooses to check the firearm because he wants to make sure that everyone’s safe, he can do that, but that’s not his responsibility,” she said.

On Monday, Halls spoke out for the first time since the Oct. 21 shooting but did not address details of the incident — or respond to previous reports that he was the one who handed Baldwin the gun.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said last week investigators were still trying to determine how live rounds got on the set.

According to authorities in Santa Fe, four people handled the gun before the shooting: Baldwin, Halls, Gutierrez-Reed and prop master Sarah Zachry, according to Fox News.

Souza told police that safety protocols call for the armorer to hand the weapon to the assistant director, who is supposed to check to ensure there are no live rounds in the weapon before handing it to the actor.

Halls has told investigators he couldn’t recall how thoroughly he checked the firearm.

“David advised when Hannah showed him the firearm before continuing rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds,” he told detectives, according to an affidavit filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in the shooting on the set of ‘Rust.’
VIA REUTERS

“He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum,” the assistant director allegedly told cops.

An insider has told The Post that two staffers on set told investigators they never saw Halls remove the gun from the armorer’s cart during an investigation into the incident. The witnesses also denied that Halls had called the gun “cold” before giving it to Baldwin, the source said.

Gutierrez told police she “checked the ‘dummies’ and ensured they were not ‘hot rounds,’” according to the affidavits.

David Halls told investigators he couldn't remember how thoroughly he checked the firearm before handing it to Alec Baldwin.
David Halls told investigators he couldn’t remember how thoroughly he checked the firearm before handing it to Alec Baldwin.
Dave halls/Twitter

In her interview Monday, Torraco also said she and her team have interviewed another crew member whom she referred to as a “he,” and said they “checked” the firearm –though she did not disclose information on their identity.

When pressed by MacCallum, she said she has spoken to some crew members who recall Gutierrez-Reed handing the gun to Baldwin while others remember seeing Halls giving it to the actor directly after being passed the prop weapon by the armorer.

“This tragedy is overwhelming to all of us … it’s deeply saddening to my client,” said Torraco, who avoided answering questions about her client’s involvement in a previous gun-related incident in 2019.

An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where 'Rust' was filming.
An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where ‘Rust’ was filming.
VIA REUTERS

Halls and his representatives did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
 

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