Latest Rust trial reveals lax safety, and Alec Baldwin using his gun as a ‘pointing stick’

Latest Rust trial reveals lax safety, and Alec Baldwin using his gun as a 'pointing stick'
Latest Rust trial reveals lax safety, and Alec Baldwin using his gun as a 'pointing stick'

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Actor Alec Baldwin waved his gun around and used it “as a pointing stick” on the film set where a cinematographer was shot dead, a court heard Thursday.

Footage seen at the trial of armourer Hannah Gutierrez showed Baldwin, who was also a producer on the budget Western Rust, gesticulating with a pistol loaded with blanks.

It also showed him firing the gun within a few feet of camera operators and urging the young armourer to reload his guns quickly, chiding her for not having more weapons ready.

“One more! One more! One more! Right away! Let’s reload!” Baldwin shouts after the director calls “cut.”

“Here we go! C’mon,” he said. “We should have two guns and both we’re reloading.”

The footage was being shown in the New Mexico courtroom where Gutierrez is on trial for involuntary manslaughter over the death of Halyna Hutchins.

Hutchins died after being hit by a round fired from the Colt .45 that Baldwin was holding as cast and crew rehearsed a scene.

Director Joel Souza was also hit by the bullet but later recovered.

One of the key questions surrounding the death of Hutchins is how a live bullet found its way onto the set and into Baldwin’s gun.

Gutierrez denies it was her fault and has blamed the ammunition supplier.

Prosecution witness Bryan Carpenter, a firearms expert who has worked on dozens of films, said behind-the-scenes footage showed a lax attitude to gun safety on set.

He said videos showing a performer wandering around with a shotgun in between takes, which he was lackadaisically pointing at other people, were examples of very poor “muzzle discipline.”

He said as the film’s armourer, Gutierrez – who is also known as Hannah Gutierrez-Reed – should have never allowed this behaviour and should have removed the weapons from performers between takes.

Carpenter said she should not have permitted herself to be hurried by Baldwin.

“Rushing with firearms and telling someone to rush with firearms is not normal nor accepted,” he told the court.

“In a situation like that, when you’re getting rushed to that extent, that’s when safety starts to fall by the wayside.”

In one take, Baldwin is seen lying on the ground telling crew how he was going to get up and how he would be firing, using his gun to gesture.

Asked if there was anything wrong with this from a firearms safety point of view, Carpenter replied: “He’s using the weapon as a pointing stick.”

Under cross-examination, Carpenter acknowledged that as a young armourer just starting out in movies, putting an A-lister like Baldwin in his place could be tricky for Gutierrez.

But, he said, that was part of the job.

“If that is not something you feel capable of doing, you should never step into the position of doing it,” he said.

Gutierrez denies involuntary manslaughter and an additional charge of tampering with evidence in relation to the alleged disposal of cocaine in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Baldwin’s own trial on involuntary manslaughter, which he also denies, is expected in July.

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