A staffer on the set of the movie “Rust” may finally have to talk to authorities after more than a month of dodging them.
The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department has been trying to interview assistant director David Halls. Halls was the person who handed Baldwin a gun that was used to shoot and kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza was wounded in the Oct. 21 incident.
Halls has been widely quoted as having said that the gun was “cold,” as in not loaded with any live rounds, when he handed the gun to Baldwin.
In an interview with ABC, Baldwin said that although the gun was in his hand when it went off, he never actually fired the weapon by pulling its trigger — a claim that has ignited controversy.
On Friday, District Judge Bryan Biedscheid issued a subpoena to compel Halls to speak, according to USA Today.
Officials had tried twice since Nov. 2 to interview Halls, but he refused both times, saying he would not speak to state officials until the criminal investigation of the shooting is completed, the paper reported.
In court documents, state officials said an interview with Halls is needed because of his overall knowledge of the set and its safety procedures as well as what took place the day of the shooting.
“It’s the bureau’s understanding that Mr. Halls was inside the church when this fatality and injury, this workplace fatality and injury to the second person, occurred. So the bureau needs to question Mr. Halls on what occurred inside the church,” wrote Mia Napolitano, assistant general counsel for the New Mexico Environment Department, according to KOB-TV in Albuquerque.
“Mr. Halls could also inform the bureau as to who else was inside the church and who else we should interview. It’s also the bureaus understanding Mr. Halls conducted safety meetings on-site and had a roll [sic] in safety on set.”
Lisa Torraco, an attorney for Halls, said he will cooperate with the state, according to KOB.
Under New Mexico procedures, state officials have six months after an incident to investigate and, if warranted, issue citations for possible workplace safety violations, KOB reported.
Halls had been fired from the 2019 movie “Freedom’s Path” due to a firearms accident, according to NPR.
A crew member was injured on the set of that film when a gun was discharged, according to the report.
Baldwin offered an account of what happened in an interview with ABC, according to Reuters.
“I feel someone is responsible for what happened, but I know it isn’t me. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly,” Baldwin said.
“I’ve been told by people in the know… that it is highly unlikely I would be charged with anything criminally,” he said. New Mexico officials, however, have refused to rule out charges against anyone connected with the incident.
Baldwin said he never pulled the trigger of the gun that fired the fatal shot.
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