A veteran prop master took to social media over the weekend to detail what he believed was a series of essential safety measures neglected in the set of “Rust” that resulted in a fatal accident with a loaded prop gun.
“First and foremost, the most important protocol is no live ammo on the set. A live round is a cartridge with a slug in it—a bullet that can kill someone,” said Scott Reeder on TikTok on Oct. 24, after initiating that he could only provide speculations from what court documents have revealed, the New York Post reported.
On Oct. 21, movie actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza with a prop firearm on the “Rust” production set in New Mexico.
Court records revealed that the prop gun was left outside the building by an armorer responsible for tending the weapons. An assistant director took it from the cart and handed it over to Baldwin, without checking, telling him it was a “cold gun”—meaning it was emptied of live rounds.
Reeder said the guns should never have been left there “unattended” without anyone in the crew to supervise.
“From what I’ve read, the first assistant director walked outside of the set to the weapons cart, and grabbed one of three weapons that were sitting there, on a cart that was unattended,” the 51-year-old prop master said from the Sunday affidavit. “That’s a breach.”
He added another rule was broken when the assistant manager took the gun instead of the armorer, noting that “no one should grab a gun except the armorer or the prop master.”
The police documents recounted that the tragic gun accident happened as Baldwin pointed the gun towards the camera during a rehearsal for an exchange of gunfire in a church.
The information indicated that the vital dummy rounds could have been ignored as well, Reeder pointed.
“If you’re following protocol, you would take your dummy rounds into the set with an empty gun,” he said.
He then demonstrated a little instrument used to check if the barrel was clear and how the assistant director could have shaken each bullet to ensure it was a fake before loading it into the gun on set.
Calling out all the potential safety protocols breached, Reeder also refused to categorize the Oct. 21 event as a “misfire.”
“Well, a misfire is when a gun doesn’t fire,” he said, referring to it as an “accidental discharge.”
“My heart goes out to everyone involved in this tragedy,” Reeder later added.