One of the guns used was later handed to actor Alec Baldwin, who fired the shot that killed Hutchins, 42, and injured director Joel Souza, The Wrap reported.
“There’s this pastime that crew members sometimes do, it’s called ‘plinking,’ and they go out into the rural areas and they shoot at beer cans. This is with live ammunition. We learned that this happened the morning of the day that Halyna Hutchins was killed,” Waxman said.
Waxman told CNN that “plinking” is common when there’s downtime during a shoot.
CNN has not been able to confirm The Wrap’s reporting.
When asked by The Wrap for comment on this reporting, “Rust” producers referred back to their previous statement sent to media outlets, including CNN: “The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”
The incident happened at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Thursday.
Souza, who was injured in the shoulder, told investigators the prop gun went off as Baldwin was practicing drawing his gun, according to an affidavit for a search warrant.
Souza spoke to investigators Friday, according to the affidavit released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.
Souza told them Baldwin was “sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw,” the affidavit said. A cross draw is when a shooter pulls the weapon from a holster on the opposite side of the body from the draw hand.
Souza was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder “when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop,” according to the affidavit.
Souza also confirmed to an investigator that he heard the term “cold gun” on set, meaning the firearm should have been empty.
According to the warrant, Souza said three people had been handling the firearms for scenes — they were checked by the armorer and first assistant director and then given to the actor using them.
The investigator said Souza was unaware of anyone on set being checked to see whether they had live ammunition on them before or after the scenes were filmed.
“The only thing checked are the firearms to avoid live ammunition being in them. Joel (Souza) stated there should never be live rounds whatsoever near or around the scene,” the affidavit said.
Souza’s representatives have not returned CNN’s requests for comment.
No charges have been filed. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says it will discuss the case further in a news conference Wednesday.
Prior incidents reported on set
There were at least two accidental prop gun discharges on the “Rust” set in the days before the fatal shooting, according to multiple news reports.
The armorer who prepared the prop gun used by Baldwin on Thursday was identified in search warrant documents as Hannah Gutierrez. She had recently finished work on her first project as head armorer, she said in a September podcast interview.
“I was really nervous about it at first,” Gutierrez said of working as head armorer on the set of the movie “The Old Way,” starring Nicolas Cage.
“I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, like it went really smoothly,” she said in an interview on the “Voices of the West” podcast, which is dedicated to the Old West.
Her work as armorer ranges from teaching actors how to wear a gun belt to aiming and shooting, she said.