The accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was a traumatic moment for the cast and crew of Rust. After the gun held by star Alec Baldwin went off, sending a bullet through Hutchins’ shoulder and into the chest of director Joel Souza, the set erupted in panic, two crew members recounted this morning.
The crew members were on set at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Oct. 21. Special effects coordinator Thomas Gandy and actor Devon Werkheiser saw it all go down. And now they’re sharing their stories with the world.
In an interview with Good Morning America that aired today, Gandy and Werkheiser recalled the chaos that ensued after the gun went off on set.
“You can hear the bedlam going off inside this building,” said Gandy, who was standing behind Hutchins when the gun went off. “People were scrambling, running. No one even thought that it might be a real bullet.”
Rust Witnesses Detail Scene After Shooting
“Halyna had her back to me directly,” Gandy continued. “I’ll never forget she was wearing this sort of silvery, shiny coat. And there was a hole in it… immediately bleeding profusely. Right then, like I said, that’s when it got real. And [we were] still not even knowing really Joel, poor guy. We don’t even know he’s been shot through the chest too at that point.”
Werkheiser said that even though he was on the Rust set that day, he didn’t learn Hutchins’ fate until the news broke of her death later on.
“I’m like, ‘Wow I guess a stunt went wrong,’” Werkheiser recalled. “We were told ambulances were coming. And when a helicopter came instead, that’s when I knew it was really serious. A really awful part of all of this is many of us were waiting for news on how she was. And the news broke that she had passed before we were told. Somehow it got leaked to the world before those of us who were actually involved found out.”
Werkheiser added that people who weren’t involved in the movie can’t possibly understand what the cast and crew are now going through.
GMA Interview Follows Alec Baldwin’s ABC Tell-All
The comments by the cast and crew member follow a tell-all interview that Baldwin gave to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in which he claimed he never pulled the trigger on the gun. He said he pulled the gun’s hammer back. And when he let go of it, the gun went off.
In the interview, Baldwin insisted that someone other than him is responsible for Hutchins’ death. He added that he has no idea how live ammunition wound up in the gun. Baldwin was a producer on Rust as well as its star.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” he said.
Meanwhile, a person familiar with the Rust set told The Wrap that crew members sometimes took prop guns from the set and used them for live-ammunition target practice. The morning before the shooting, crew members had taken the gun that killed Hutchins and used it to go “plinking.” That’s shooting at beer cans with live ammunition. They then returned the gun to set, the source said.
Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez has claimed she has “no idea” how live ammunition found its way onto the set.