Expert provides closer look at type of firearm used in ‘Rust’ shooting
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – KOB 4 took a closer look at the type of gun used by Alec Baldwin — and how it somehow had a live round that killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and was lodged in director Joel Souza’s shoulder.
It’s made to look like a revolver cowboys would use in the late 1800s, even using the same kind of bullets they did back in the day. Now, it’s at the center of a film set tragedy.
Nearly a week after Souza was injured and Hutchins was killed after being shot on the film set of “Rust.” Officials said it was not a prop gun that producer and actor, Alec Baldwin, used to fire lethal ammo.
"That firearm was an F.LLI Pietta long colt 45 revolver,” said Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza.
That is an old school looking firearm that Robert Theige with Ron Peterson Firearms is very familiar with.
"It is a powerful load,” he said. "It would go through a couple of sheet rock walls no problem."
He’s worked with guns since he was 21 and even has experience as an actor in reenacting the Civil War.
So when he heard about the tragedy on set, he was shocked.
"It was shocking, it was like, oh wow, somebody messed up bad,” he said.
A 45 colt is much larger than other calibers like the typical 9 millimeter used by police and 45 ACP – not to mention the drastic difference between the 45 colt and blanks, usually used for films.
"To load this weapon, what you would do is open the gate. Go to half cock, that way you can turn the cylinder on it. Then you would put one round in."
To check each of the six chambers, it takes less than a minute. But according to the recent search warrant, it’s something the movie’s assistant director, David Halls, admitted he did not fully do.
Investigators said the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, told them she checked the "dummy" guns the day of the shooting. The crew then took a break for lunch. When they returned, Halls says Gutierrez is supposed to open the hatch and spin the drum before he says "cold gun" on set.
Halls said when Gutierrez showed him the gun before rehearsal, he could only remember seeing three rounds and admitted he should have checked them all, but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum. But Theige said just looking at the base of the bullet really isn’t enough.
"You would have to take it out to know,” he said. "You are not going to see what you need to see. The only way to find out is to take it, use your ejector rod, drop the round out and look at it."
KOB 4 also learned the state’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is joining the long list of those investigating this shooting.