‘Rust’ Crew Member Speaks Out About the Safety Concerns On Set Leading Up to Fatal Shooting

NBC News

On October 21, 2021, the unthinkable happened. Alec Bladwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust.” He had been told the gun wasn’t loaded, but it was. Halyna Hutchins, the film’s director of photography, ended up dying from the fatal shot.

The film set is still under investigation, but some of the crew members are speaking out. Baldwin, who is currently in Vermont with his family, even stopped the car and answered questions the paparazzi had for him in hopes that they would stop following him if he answered their questions. The director, Joel Souza, who was injured during the incident on set, has also spoken about what he remembers before Hutchins died.

Now, another crew member is speaking out. Lane Looper was part of the camera crew on “Rust,” but he and other camera crew members quit the day before Hutchins was shot. He talked to The Hollywood Reporter about why he quit, citing unsafe working conditions, a rushed schedule with long days and little time for sleep, as well as multiple excuses for not paying the crew members on time.

Looper doesn’t seem to think the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, is to blame for Hutchins’ death. He described her as “overworked and inexperienced.” He understands hiring inexperienced people to save money on a low-budget film, but he thinks hiring an inexperienced person to be the head of a department, especially one that’s in charge of the on-set weapons, was a mistake.

Although he thinks the producers and not Reed are more to blame for the safety issues on set, he doesn’t like that Reed’s lawyers suggested that someone on set planted the live rounds in the gun that killed Hutchins. He said, “The idea of it made me sick.” He added, “I thought the fact that they were going on morning television and saying that was irresponsible, slanderous and quite frankly just disgusting.”

Watch the video below to hear some of Looper’s thoughts about the conditions on set and what the producers had to say in response.


Even though Looper quit the film on the 20th, he was on set the next morning to collect his belongings. He said he talked to Hutchins that day and gave her a hug. He explained, “She said she felt like she was losing her best friends.” Shortly afterwards, Looper went home, took a nap, and then learned the devastating news. 

Looper told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m laying on my couch and all of a sudden my phone just started exploding. I actually rode my skateboard straight to the hospital. And then we heard that [Hutchins] had passed away.”