In a now-eerie video, Jensen Ackles described his experience working with firearms on the set of Rust just days before his costar Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
“I’ve got a 6 a.m. call tomorrow to have a big shootout. They had me pick my gun, they were like, ‘All right, what gun would you like?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know?’ and the armorer was like, ‘Do you have gun experience?’” the actor, 43, told fans at a Supernatural convention that took place in Denver from October 15 to 17. “I was like, ‘A little.’ And she’s like, ‘OK, well, this is how you load it, this is how we check it and make sure it’s safe.’”
According to Ackles, the armorer told him that she was “going to put some blanks” in the gun and instructed him to “fire off a couple rounds” at the landscape in the distance, which he did easily. He noted that Baldwin — who is also a producer on the project — was present when he went in for the role.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said that the 30 Rock alum, 63, “discharged” a weapon on the set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Thursday, October 21. Hutchins, 42, was pronounced dead at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, while Souza, 48, was transported to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to receive medical attention and released on Friday, October 22.
“Mr. Baldwin came in voluntarily to speak with investigators,” sheriff’s office spokesman Juan Ríos said in a statement. The set was locked down as detectives tried to determine “what type of projectile was discharged.”
The Saturday Night Live alum spoke out about the incident via Twitter on Friday. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” he wrote. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
The film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, also released a statement that read, “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
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