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Alec Baldwin shooting: Assistant director shouted ‘cold gun’ before handing actor loaded prop firearm, court documents reveal

Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded prop gun by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use, moments before the actor fatally shot his crew member, according to court documents.

Dave Halls shouted “cold gun” before handing him the firearm on the set of the new Western movie Rust, a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court showed.

The documents suggest neither Baldwin nor Halls knew the weapon was loaded with live rounds

The details have emerged as reports suggest the head armourer on the film had said she didn’t feel ready to do the job on a previous movie, and two crew members told the Los Angeles Times a weapon had been unintentionally fired twice in the days before the fatal shooting.

Baldwin’s stunt double had been told the prop firearm wasn’t loaded, including with blanks, before he fired the two rounds last Saturday, according to two crew members who spoke to the paper.

The Los Angeles Times is also reporting that half a dozen camera crew workers had walked off set in protest against working conditions hours before the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on Thursday.

The employees felt safety protocols were not being strictly adhered to on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sources told the paper.

They added that at least one camera operator had complained to a production manager about gun safety.

Rust Movie Productions has said it was “not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set” and will conduct an internal review of procedures.

It comes as Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the head armourer in charge of guns on the film, reportedly said she wasn’t sure if she was ready for the position before taking up the role on a previous movie.

Speaking in an interview after completing a role as head armourer for the Nicolas Cage film The Old Way, Ms Gutierrez-Reed said: “‘I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, it went really smoothly.”

The armourer is also said to have admitted she found loading blanks into a gun “the scariest” thing and had sought help from her father, the renowned gunsmith Thell Reed, to overcome her fear.

In the wake of Thursday’s shooting, the executive producer of ABC’s police drama “The Rookie” announced the show would no longer use “live” weapons because the “safety of our cast and crew is too important”.

Hutchins was struck in the chest and director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her, was hit in the shoulder after Baldwin discharged the prop firearm.

The 42-year-old cinematographer died, while Mr Souza was injured and has since been released from hospital.

Investigators obtained the warrant on Friday to document the scene where the incident took place.

The weapon that was fired was taken as evidence, along with Baldwin’s blood-stained costume for the film.

Investigators also seized prop guns and ammunition that were being used on the set.

The weapon that was fired had been placed on a cart by Ms Gutierrez-Reed, along with two other guns.

Mr Halls grabbed the gun from the cart, which was outside a wooden structure where a scene was being acted, and brought it inside to Baldwin, a detective wrote in the court documents.

Meanwhile, the film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, said she was standing next to Ms Hutchins when she was shot.

“I ran out and called 911 and said ‘bring everybody, send everybody’,” she said.

“This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.”

Baldwin said he was devastated by the shooting in a tweet on Friday.

“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours,” he wrote.

“I’m fully co-operating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.

“My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Rust’s production has been halted and the company making the film said it is providing counselling services to everyone connected with it.

Meanwhile, Ms Hutchins’ husband Matt Hutchins posted a tribute on Twitter expressing his family’s “enormous” loss, along with a photo of the cinematographer.

Baldwin’s daughter, Ireland, has said she wished she could hug her dad “extra tight” following the incident.

Writing on Instagram, she said: “My love and support go to Halyna Hutchins’ family and friends. Sending healing thoughts to Joel Souza.”

Baldwin was seen outside the sheriff’s office in tears after the shooting on Thursday.

Detectives said he willingly provided a statement.

Juan Rios, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the investigation remains open and active.

No charges have been filed and witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives, he said.

The incident has been compared with the death of Brandon Lee, son of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee, who died while filming a death scene for the movie The Crow in 1993 when he was 28 years old.

The .44-calibre weapon used was supposed to fire a blank but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.

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