'Rust' Assistant Director Breaks Silence Over Shooting, Doesn't Address Details of Fatal Incident

Dave Halls, the assistant director of Rust, is speaking out after the death of Halyna Hutchins on set

Dave Halls

The assistant director for Rust has made his first statement regarding the fatal shooting that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

"Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I've worked with, but also a friend," Dave Halls said in a statement obtained by the New York Post.

He continued, "I'm shocked and saddened by her death. It's my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again."

The assistant director added he was "overwhelmed by the love and support" and said his "thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna."

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Halls did not address the details of the incident in his statement — including that he yelled "cold gun" before the firearm that killed Hutchins was handed to Alec Baldwin, indicating that there were no live rounds in the gun, according to an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE

Last week, an updated search warrant from the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office revealed Halls admitted to authorities that there was a lapse in gun safety protocol on set leading up to the incident.

RELATED VIDEO: Sheriff Says Alec Baldwin's Been 'Extremely Cooperative' During the Rust On-Set Investigation

Explaining the typical protocol, Halls told deputies: "I check the barrel for obstructions, most of the time there's no live fire, she (armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed) opens the hatch and spins the drum, and I say cold gun on set," according to the warrant obtained by the New York Post.

On the day of the incident, Halls said that Gutierrez-Reed showed him the loaded firearm after the crew returned from lunch so that they could continue rehearsals. He told authorities he could only remember seeing three rounds in the gun, the affidavit stated.

According to the warrant, he admitted that he should have checked each round, but he did not. He couldn't remember if Gutierrez-Reed spun the drum.

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After the incident, Halls said he picked up the gun from a church pew on set and took it to Gutierrez-Reed, instructing her to open it so he could see what was inside. When the armorer opened the gun, Halls told authorities he saw five rounds in the gun — four "dummy" rounds, indicated by a hole in the casing, and one "without the hole," according to the warrant.

On Wednesday, New Mexico authorities confirmed that the projectile that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza was a real lead bullet.

In a statement via her lawyers, Gutierrez-Reed said there are "untruths that have been told to the media," and she is "devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired."

The investigation remains ongoing, with production on the film halted. No charges have been filed.

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