Rust crew member tells court Alec Baldwin insisted on using a real weapon because he loved the feel of ‘hero props’ and claims nobody could stand up to him because he was the ‘big boss’

A court heard Monday that Alec Baldwin said he was going to ‘whip it out,’ referring to the weapon that was used to accidentally shoot and kill a cinematographer on the set of ‘Rust.’ 

Baldwin, the jury heard, preferred to use real guns rather than rubber ones. He loved the feel of the ‘hero props.’

The trial of Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was shown chilling footage of Baldwin pulling the weapon out in the same spot where he killed Halyna Hutchins just hours later. 

In the footage Baldwin can be heard saying he was going to ‘whip it out’ even though the scene only called for him to show the handle. 

A crew member, Ross Addiego, claimed that ‘safety seemed to be secondary to the production clock’ because the film couldn’t afford to lose any time. 

The set had been in a ‘state of rushed chaos’ in the weeks before the tragedy, according to witnesses who took the stand to reveal details about the set of the indie Western, where Halyna Hutchins lost her life.

A crew member, Ross Addiego, claimed that ‘safety seemed to be secondary to the production clock’ because the film couldn’t afford to lose any time

A court heard Monday that Alec Baldwin said preferred to use real guns rather than rubber ones. He loved the feel of the 'hero props'

A court heard Monday that Alec Baldwin said preferred to use real guns rather than rubber ones. He loved the feel of the ‘hero props’

Baldwin, the lead actor and one of the producers, told the crew to ‘move, move, move’ and nobody stood up to him because he was the ‘big boss’, the jury heard.

Gutierrez-Reed, 26, is accused of letting a live round get into the gun Baldwin was using when he shot dead Hutchins, a prop gun that could fire live ammunition.

She denies involuntary manslaughter at a court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, near to where Rust was being filmed in October 2021.

The bullet went clean through Hutchins, 42, a mother-of-one, and hit Rust director Joel Souza in the shoulder but he survived.

Baldwin, 65, will face trial at a later date for involuntary manslaughter, which he denies.

He and Gutierrez-Reed are facing 18 months in jail if convicted.

The jury heard that Addiego worked as a dolly grip, which involves building and maintaining all the equipment cameras are mounted on.

Addiego is one of three crew members who is currently suing Baldwin and the producers of Rust, claiming that Hutchins’ death left them with PTSD and anxiety.

In his testimony, Addiego detailed the litany of safety failures that happened on the set in the two weeks before the incident were unlike anything he had seen on the 100 films he had worked on, which includes Men in Black 3 and Terminator 3.

Bryce Ziegler, an agent with the FBI firearms unit who examined the gun Baldwin used, said he had to break the gun with a mallet to get it to fire without using the trigger

Bryce Ziegler, an agent with the FBI firearms unit who examined the gun Baldwin used, said he had to break the gun with a mallet to get it to fire without using the trigger

Ziegler's analysis contradicts claims by Baldwin that he only pulled back the hammer on the vintage-looking pistol

Ziegler’s analysis contradicts claims by Baldwin that he only pulled back the hammer on the vintage-looking pistol

The jury heard that on October 16th, five days before Hutchins was shot dead, there were two accidental discharges of firearms within an hour of each other

The jury heard that on October 16th, five days before Hutchins was shot dead, there were two accidental discharges of firearms within an hour of each other

Addiego said that safety meetings should have happened at least once a day but in his time on the Rust set there was just one.

According to Addiego, armourers were typically some of the ‘most uptight and anal retentive people on set because they literally have people’s lives in their hands’.

He said: ‘They don’t joke around, they stick to themselves and focus on the task at hand

‘Most of them seem to be either former military or law enforcement and have some sort of background with firearms’.

But Gutierrez-Reed ‘wasn’t as serious or as professional as I’m accustomed to with the other armourers I’ve worked with’, Addiego said.

He said that she left firearms sitting loosely and unlocked on the top of her prop cart and pulled loose rounds out of a fanny pack.

Addiego said that typically the armourer would allow the cast and crew to look down the barrel of the gun before loading the ammunition in front of them.

On Rust, that never happened, causing Addiego more concern.

He said: ‘They call them safety checks for a reason. We were moving through those instead of pausing to have those checks’.

Morrissey asked if Addiego ever recalled Gutierrez-Reed loading a gun in the presence of the crew.

He said: ‘A couple of times where she was put in a position to reload as quick as she could and hand it back to the actors’.

When asked who put her in that position, Addiego said it was first assistant director Dave Halls and Baldwin.

Addiego said he had seen other armourers slow down the pace so they were not being rushed.

Buildings used on the set of the movie "Rust" are seen after filming resumed following the 2021 shooting death in New Mexico of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Buildings used on the set of the movie “Rust” are seen after filming resumed following the 2021 shooting death in New Mexico of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Morrissey asked: ‘Did Miss Gutierrez ever take any steps to slow those things down if she was being rushed?’

‘Not that I ever saw’, Addiego said.

The jury heard that on October 16th, five days before Hutchins was shot dead, there were two accidental discharges of firearms within an hour of each other.

The first was when the prop master, Sarah Zachry, was outside of a cabin and was unloading a gun but it accidentally went off.

Addiego said: ‘I was within feet of it and she seemed pretty spooked and it appeared as though she’d shot that firearm at her foot’. It was unclear if the gun was loaded.

The second discharge happened as Gutierrez-Reed was working with Baldwin’s stunt double to shoot a scene and it went off.

Addiego said he could not recall a single other discharge in his time in the film industry.

When both incidents happened, Addiego said he told Halls of his ‘frustration and anger with the fact that safety seemed to be secondary to the production clock’.

Halls ‘ignored me and walked away’, Addiego said.

The discharges ‘threw us into more of a state of chaos than we already were’, Addiego said.

He told the jury: ‘At times we would say we were moving at ludicrous speeds, just trying to race the production clock because we had a finite amount of time to complete a very ambitious schedule so we always seemed to be rushed and under the gun to get stuff done and move on’.

Under cross examination by Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer Jason Bowles, Addiego said that Baldwin appeared to be in charge of the set.

Bowles said: ‘You heard Mr Baldwin rushing people telling them to move, move, move’, Addiego said he did.

‘Did you ever stand up to Mr Baldwin and say we’re not going to move this fast?’ Bowles asked.

Addiego said it was ‘not my job’ and he didn’t recall ‘anybody standing up to Mr Baldwin on the set of Rust’.

‘He’s running the show, he’s the big boss, right?’ Bowles said.

‘He’s the producer, one of the writers, and on the call sheet, he’s number one, so yes,’ Addiego said.

The jury heard that Baldwin always wanted to use his ‘hero props’ meaning real guns as opposed to rubber weapons.

Baldwin did not stick around after the shot had been fired and walked out of the church as medics came to help Souza and Hutchins, the court heard

Baldwin did not stick around after the shot had been fired and walked out of the church as medics came to help Souza and Hutchins, the court heard

Addiego said that was ‘my understanding of the way he liked to perform’, including on the day of the shooting on October 21st 2021.

That day Baldwin was sitting on a pew rehearsing a scene where he looked up as some lawmen came in and ordered him to surrender.

As Addiego understood it, Baldwin was ‘just to reveal the part of the gun that holds the bullets’.

He said: ‘Once we saw that gun coming out of the holster it would give the audience the idea that Harland Rust (Baldwin) is about to defend himself’.

Footage of the scene from hours before the shooting showed Baldwin sitting with a Christ figure on the wall behind him in a crucifixion pose.

He is wearing a cowboy hat and has his head bowed and his hands are in his lap’.

A voice tells Baldwin to ‘get up nice and slow, toss any guns you have’.

One of the crew tells Baldwin to ‘draw your gun and look up’.

Baldwin says: ‘Whip it out?’ and then proceeds to draw it.

Addiego said that the camera lens was within a foot of Baldwin when the bullet was fired.

His voice wavering, he said: ‘Instantly a firearm went off in a small wooden church, concussion, ears ringing, a moment of panic in everybody.

‘The first person I made eye contact with was Halyna who was clearly injured by whatever that gunshot was.

‘She was starting to go flush and holding her right side and then I think Joel let out some sort of scream to indicate he was also injured.

‘My attention went to Joel (Souza, the director) because he was the closest to me’.

Two other crew members went to help Hutchins while Addiego yelled: ‘If you can’t help us get the f*** out of here’.

Addiego said: ‘I tried to calm Joel down, to let him know we were going to get through it because I didn’t know what else to do’.

Baldwin, 65, will face trial at a later date for involuntary manslaughter, which he denies

Baldwin, 65, will face trial at a later date for involuntary manslaughter, which he denies

The set had been in a ‘state of rushed chaos’ in the weeks before the tragedy, according to witnesses who took the stand to reveal details about the set of the indie Western

The set had been in a ‘state of rushed chaos’ in the weeks before the tragedy, according to witnesses who took the stand to reveal details about the set of the indie Western

Baldwin did not stay around and walked out of the church as medics came to help Souza and Hutchins, the court heard.

Addiego said: ‘Joel was writhing in pain and concerned for himself, asking how Halyna was.

Coming to the realisation he’d been shot. I was trying to find where he was wounded so I started pulling back his hoodie to reveal what appeared to be a circular wound in his right shoulder.

‘I helped roll Joel over.

‘I was in a position to see what appeared to be a bullet just under the skin where his right shoulder blade was and he was in a great deal of pain’.

From Hutchins all Addiego could hear was ‘groaning and discomfort’, he said.

Souza’s shoulder had a bullet ‘barely being held in by his skin’.

Earlier in the day the court heard from a FBI firearms expert who challenged Baldwin’s claim that he never pulled the trigger of the gun he used to accidentally shoot Hutchins.

Bryce Ziegler, an agent with the FBI firearms unit who examined the gun Baldwin used, said he had to break the gun with a mallet to get it to fire without using the trigger.

Ziegler said that couldn’t have happened on the set of Rust because the gun was in working order when it came to him.

His analysis contradicts claims by Baldwin that he only pulled back the hammer on the vintage-looking pistol.

Speaking to ABC News in December 2021 Baldwin said: ‘I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never’.

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk