‘Rust’ Crew Member Blames Deadly Shooting on ‘Perfect Storm’ of Mishaps, Lack of Safety Precautions

·3-min read

Lane Luper, who was the first camera assistant on “Rust,” said there is not just one person who can be held responsible for Halyna Hutchins’ death on the film set because the “one in a trillion” catastrophe was “a perfect storm.”

“I think with ‘Rust,’ it was a perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on the set, the rushing,” he said during a “Good Morning America” appearance Wednesday. “It was everything. It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place perfectly for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.”

He added that “a lot of things have to go wrong” for a live round to make it into a prop gun, which is what happened on the film’s New Mexico set last month. Cinematographer Hutchins was shot and killed when Alec Baldwin fired what was supposed to be a “cold” gun, or one without live rounds in it.

Luper wasn’t on set the day of the shooting. He resigned the previous day, citing safety concerns.

“What I put in my resignation letter was lack of COVID policies, the housing situation — driving to and from Albuquerque — and specifically gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, a lack of preparing the crew for what we were doing that day,” he told George Stephanopoulos, who noted that Luper’s claims of an unsafe set have been contested by other crew members. But others have stood by it: Hours before the deadly shooting, a half-dozen crew members walked off set to protest conditions on the film after days of strife over long hours, safety issues and staff housing.

In his letter, Luper described the safety procedures on the set as “fast and loose.” Filming has now been suspended.

Also on “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Jason Bowels, the attorney representing “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, discussed the shooting incident.

When asked by “GMA” co-anchor Michael Strahan if Gutierrez-Reed knew how a live bullet got into the gun, Bowles said: “No, and I appreciate you asking that. That’s going to be the biggest question in this case and something we’re very on and looking at. We’re going to work closely with law enforcement, do anything we can to cooperate.”

Bowels also answered whether Gutierrez-Reed checked the gun before it was given to Baldwin. “She did spin the cylinder. She showed Mr. Halls each of the rounds, there were six dummy rounds that she had loaded into that firearm that she believed had been dummy rounds,” Bowels said. “She did spin it. She did check it. She did by spinning it, by showing it to Mr. Halls gave it to Mr. Halls. We then know he had the firearm in the church and that firearm then ended up with Mr. Baldwin. It was not given to Mr. Baldwin by Hannah. I believe it went to him through Mr. Halls and that was the chain of custody of that weapon.”

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