Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin Reuters/Dennis Van Tine/ABACAPRESS.COM

David Halls, the crew member who handed actor Alec Baldwin the loaded gun that killed a cinematographer on the set of "Rust", on Monday made his first public comments since the incident.

In a statement to the New York Post, quoted by AFP, Halls said he is "shocked and saddened" by the death of Halyna Hutchins, but did not directly address the shooting or his role.

"Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I've worked with, but also a friend," wrote Halls.

"It's my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to re-evaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again," he added.

Halls' role in the accident on the New Mexico set has been under scrutiny after he told police he had failed to fully check the firearm before the fatal incident.

According to court records, Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and yelled, "Cold gun," indicating that it was loaded with blanks.

Baldwin then fired, hitting Hutchins in the chest and director Joel Souza in the shoulder. Hutchins later died in hospital of her wounds.

In his statement on Monday, Halls also said he had been "overwhelmed by the love and support," and wrote, "My thoughts are with all who knew and loved Halyna."

Halls' lawyer did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment.

The statement came two days after Baldwin's own first public comments on the incident, in which he told reporters that the tragedy was a "one in a trillion episode."

“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Baldwin told reporters in an impromptu roadside conversation with photographers and camera crews who had located him in a small town in Vermont.

In his comments, Baldwin described Hutchins as his friend and said her family was “overwhelmed with grief”.

“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode,” he said.

Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said last week that criminal charges have not been ruled out in the incident.

Carmack-Altwies also said it was incorrect to refer to the firearm used in the incident as a "prop gun."

"It was a legit gun. It was an antique-era appropriate gun," she said.

Carmack-Altwies added an "enormous amount of bullets" had been found on the set and an investigation was needed into the nature of that ammunition.

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