Getting shot on 'Rust' like being hit with baseball bat: director

Getting shot on 'Rust' like being hit with baseball bat: director

Getting shot on the set of "Rust" where a cinematographer was killed "felt like somebody had taken a baseball bat to my shoulder," the movie's director told a court Friday.

In this file photo taken on June 22, 2021 US actor Alec Baldwin attends DreamWorks Animation's "The Boss Baby: Family Business" premiere at SVA Theatre in New York City. US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the

Joel Souza described his confusion after being hit by a live round that should never have been on the set of the budget Western in October 2021.

"There was an incredibly loud bang," he said of the moment that the Colt .45 actor Alec Baldwin was holding discharged.

"It felt like somebody had taken a baseball bat to my shoulder. I remember that distinctly. And sort of stumbling back and shouting."

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally wounded in the shooting, which happened as cast and crew readied for a scene inside an old church on the New Mexico set.

Souza recalled looking up at one point after the gun went off and seeing armorer Hannah Gutierrez, who was responsible for weaponry.

"She looked distraught," he said. "I remember her saying: 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Joel.' And I remember somebody screaming at her and they ushered her out."

The 26-year-old is on trial for involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins' death. She also faces one charge of tampering with evidence in relation to the alleged disposal of cocaine in the aftermath of the tragedy.

She denies both charges.

Souza, who also wrote "Rust," said it was not until medics showed him his X-ray that he finally accepted that he had been shot.

"I just kept saying: 'You don't understand.... This was a movie... It's just not possible that there's a live round,'" he told the jury.

"They eventually grew tired of my protesting about it. They showed me the X-ray of my back and there was a very large bullet in it."

The two-week trial in Santa Fe this week saw footage from the set showing Baldwin gesticulating with a weapon, along with other examples of what a firearms expert called poor "muzzle discipline."

ALSO READ: Trial to start for 'Rust' armorer over deadly on-set shooting

That expert, Bryan Carpenter, described how Gutierrez -- who is also known as Hannah Gutierrez-Reed -- should have removed weapons from performers between takes, something she apparently did not do.

One of the key questions surrounding Hutchins' death is how a number of live bullets found their way onto the set -- strict industry protocols insist live ammunition is never used in movie-making.

Gutierrez denies it was her fault and has blamed the ammunition supplier.

Baldwin also faces involuntary manslaughter charges over the incident, which he denies.

His trial is expected in July.

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