On-set medic on Rust reveals she heard a 'loud shot' and immediately knew ...

On-set medic on Rust reveals she heard a 'loud shot' and immediately knew ...
On-set medic on Rust reveals she heard a 'loud shot' and immediately knew ...

The on-set medic for Alec Baldwin's Western film, where a camerawoman was killed on Thursday, immediately realized that there had been a terrible mistake, according to a report.

Cherlyn Schaefer heard a 'loud shot' which surprised her, according to the medic's report from the immediate aftermath of the shooting, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

She said the noise was unexpected, because the team making the film Rust in the New Mexico desert was not meant to be using special effects at that point. 

'Are we rehearsing? Because 'fire in the hole' wasn't called,' Schaefer said, according to the report.

The phrase 'fire in the hole' means that special effects are being used for an explosion.

After hearing someone say 'medic emergency' following the bang, she ran to a church on the set where the first scene after lunch was being set up. 

Cherlyn Schaefer, the on-set medic, said that she was immediately surprised at the noise of the gunshot

Cherlyn Schaefer, the on-set medic, said that she was immediately surprised at the noise of the gunshot

Born in Ukraine and raised on a Soviet military base 'surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines', Halyna, 42, had trained as a journalist and spent time in Europe working on British documentaries before making the move to Los Angeles, where she had established her career

An inconsolable Alec Baldwin is shown outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office after accidentally shooting and killing the cinematographer on Thursday

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot with a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the movie set in New Mexico on Thursday 

Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days before the fatal shooting

Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days before the fatal shooting

Schaefer said she heard people saying that the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, had been shot in the chest.

Baldwin, the film's star, was rehearsing a scene inside the church in which he points the gun directly at the camera. 

The film director, Joel Souza, 48, was standing behind Hutchins and had also been shot, in the shoulder.

Schaefer said in her report that she asked a colleague to apply pressure to that patient's wound, as someone called 911.

Audio of the 911 call, released on Friday, showed the script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, summoning help.

Mitchell immediately blamed the film's assistant director.

While the phone operator is inputting the details, Mitchell can be heard telling someone else: 'OK, this f****** AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherf*****.

'Did you see him lean over my desk and yell at me? He's supposed to check the guns. He's responsible for what happened.' 

Alec Baldwin is seen on the set of Rust with fake blood earlier Thursday, hours before he shot and killed the film's cinematographer. He shared this photo on Instagram with the caption

Baldwin is seen in costume, covered with fake blood, in an image posted to Instagram 

The Bonanza Creek ranch in New Mexico, outside of Santa Fe, is seen during filming of Rust. Baldwin is believed to have shot and killed Hutchins inside this church

The Bonanza Creek ranch in New Mexico, outside of Santa Fe, is seen during filming of Rust. Baldwin is believed to have shot and killed Hutchins inside this church

Production of the film has stopped now in light of the tragedy. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department is investigating and 'collecting evidence', a spokesman said on Friday

Production of the film has stopped now in light of the tragedy. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department is investigating and 'collecting evidence', a spokesman said on Friday 

According to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court, the gun was one of three that the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted. 

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.

It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio. 

It was unclear how many rounds were fired. 

Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say. 

Schaefer tended to Hutchins before the emergency medical technicians arrived. 

She found a wound in Hutchins's back and began applying pressure to it, according to the report, and then found a second wound. 

She began giving Hutchins oxygen through a mask and described checking for her vital signs.

As EMTs arrived, she helped move Hutchins onto a gurney before turning to Souza, who was released from hospital on Friday. 

In a section of the report labeled 'detailed cause,' Schaefer wrote that ' 'Something' was shot from a prop gun.'

As those working on the company are left reeling from Thursday's events, a worrying picture is emerging of safety protocols on the set.

Hutchins, born in Ukraine, was fondly remembered by those who worked with her on the set of Rust

Hutchins, born in Ukraine, was fondly remembered by those who worked with her on the set of Rust

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez, 24, is the daughter of legendary armorer and firearms consultant Thell Reed, who trained her from a young age

Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds

A search warrant released Friday said that armorer Hannah Gutierrez (left) laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and assistant director Dave Halls (right) grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin. It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio

Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Many Saints of Newark, told The Associated Press that he was shocked by the on-set shooting.

'They always — that I know of — they check it so you can see,' he said.

Joel Souza, the director of Rust, is seen in November 2019. He was reportedly shot in the shoulder

Joel Souza, the director of Rust, is seen in November 2019. He was reportedly shot in the shoulder

'They give it to the person you're pointing the gun at. 

'They do it to the producer. 

'They show whoever is there that it doesn't work.' 

Prior to the fatal shooting there were at least two accidental discharges of prop firearms on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

And Halls, according to people who spoke to Insider, had previously sparked alarm with his directions.

Melissa Low Lyon, the former on-set dresser for Hulu's horror series Into the Dark, alleged that Halls caused concern in 2019 when he told actor Creed Bratton to perform a stunt where his character was supposed to be shot in the head. 

Bratton told Halls that he was worried about the scene, and uneasy about the actions Halls wanted. Bratton feared that the dummy projectile could still hit him in the eye, but Halls pressed him to continue, Lyon claimed.

'Creed himself expressed concern because he said 'it's not going to get my eye is it,'' Lyon told Insider. 

'And then as soon as it happened, he said 'I f****** knew it.''

Lyon said she found Halls 'volatile' and difficult to work with.

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed

 

'Dave gets very confrontational in a sense, and just doesn't want to listen and says, 'well we're just going to do it' and he'll do things like he did on Rust and just grab it or do it himself,' Lyon said.   

ALEC BALDWIN ON-SET TRAGEDY: WHAT COULD HAVE GONE WRONG? 

The Santa Fe Sheriff's Office continues to investigate what exactly happened on the set that led to the death of Hutchins and the injury of the director, but past accidents involving guns on movie sets present a range of options for what could have led to the tragedy. 

Squib load - something was lodged in the barrel of the gun when Baldwin fired

One possibility is that an object was stuck in the barrel of the prop gun that Baldwin was using. Known as a squib load, it happens when a cartridge isn't fired from the barrel because the gas isn't strong enough to push it out. 

In itself, it is not dangerous and can be fixed if the gun is safely cleared but if someone keeps firing rounds from that same gun - live or not - it can be highly dangerous. 

If a second round is fired behind the stuck round, it can cause the weapon to explode, or injure people in the near vicinity. 

A real bullet was accidentally loaded, or part of one was, instead of a blank 

After firing the gun, Baldwin's immediate reaction was to ask why he'd been handed a 'hot' gun - meaning one containing live bullets. 

That is what happened in the 1993 shooting of actor Brandon Bruce Lee on the set of The Crow. 

Those on set thought the gun was loaded with blanks, but an autopsy revealed a .44 caliber bullet was lodged near Lee's spine. 

Police recovered dummy shell casings from the set. 

A dummy, unlike a blank, looks like a live round with a bullet at the tip of the cartridge. 

The difference between live rounds and blanks is the tip of the cartridge where the lethal bullet is contained is not there on a blank. Sometimes they are replaced with cotton or paper. Dummy bullets, unlike blanks, look like ordinary bullets but aren't meant to contain the metal bullet tip either

The difference between live rounds and blanks is the tip of the cartridge where the lethal bullet is contained is not there on a blank. Sometimes they are replaced with cotton or paper. Dummy bullets, unlike blanks, look like ordinary bullets but aren't meant to contain the metal bullet tip either 

Blast from the blank struck something else on set

One possibility, though it is not likely, is that the blank hit something else, damaged it, and caused that prop or piece of equipment to send pieces flying towards the director and Hutchins. 

Rhys Muldoon who has used guns on set many times and says even blanks are dangerous, speculated at that possibility, telling the BBC: 'The first thought I had is this is a close up of a gun being fired by the actor, very close to the frame of the camera, that has misfired, hit the DoP, and then something has either come off the French Flag or the black box like a part of the camera and hit the director as well.' 

But movie experts say even in those cases, there should be more safeguards in place. 

'If you are in the line of fire... You would have a face mask, you would have goggles, you would stand behind a Perspex screen, and you would minimize the number of people by the camera. 

'What I don't understand in this instance is how two people have been injured, one tragically killed, in the same event,' Steven Hall, who has worked on films such as Fury and The Imitation Game, told BBC.  

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Halls was previously fired from the production of another film, Freedom's Path, in 2019 after an accident involving a gun. 

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