The incident took place amid reported safety concerns on set. Sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that several crew members walked off the set just hours before the shooting due to these reasons. NBC News also quoted its sources that as saying the gun that killed Hutchins had misfired prior to the fatal shooting.
The Los Angeles Times, citing its own sources, previously reported there were two misfires of a prop gun days before the shooting, and that six hours before the fatal incident, union camera operators and their assistants walked off the job to protest working conditions.
Production company Rust Movie Productions, LLC has not commented about the alleged walkout. In a statement to E! News, the group said it was “not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set.” However, the company said it will conduct “an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down.”
“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company,” the statement read. “We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”
According to NBC News, investigators are seeking to question three workers who were tasked with ensuring Baldwin’s gun was loaded with blanks.
Additionally, the outlet obtained a call sheet for Thursday’s production, which lists the three individuals as the “property master, property key assistant/armorer, and property assistant.” Tobey Bayes, business agent for Hollywood property masters union IATSE Local 44, told the outlet that the three individuals listed are not members of the union.