Camera crew members walked off the set of Rust due to “safety concerns” a day before Alec Baldwin’s prop gun killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, it’s been claimed.
An anonymous crew member told ABC News that he was one of a large group to send in their resignations, adding that they were present the morning of the shooting (Thursday 21 October) as they were collecting their equipment.
They said that concerns over gun safety had been raised ahead of the fatal accident, as well as worries over the handling of Covid-19 regulations, but claimed these were all “brushed off repeatedly” by the film’s producers.
According to the crew member, there had been two previous accidental discharges of a prop gun ahead of Ms Hutchins’ death.
“You can only threaten to leave so much, and if they don’t change anything, you just have to leave,” they said.
The movie Rust was being filmed at the Bonanza Creek ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Filming has been temporarily suspended.
Ms Hutchins, 42, was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital by helicopter where she was pronounced dead. Director Joel Souza was also shot in the incident that is currently being investigated by police.
Mr Baldwin, who was told the weapon was safe, released a statement on Friday (22 October) to say he was “heart broken”, adding: “I’m fully cooperating 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.”
He called the incident a “tragic accident”. No charges have been filed.
Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, with whom she had one son, said that Mr Baldwin has been “very supportive” in the wake of her death.
The incident has triggered widespread debate on the use of firearms on film sets and whether they should be permanently replaced with rubber and airsoft guns instead.
The Independent has contacted the film’s production company for comment.