‘Rust’ actor speaks out after fatal Alec Baldwin prop gun shooting: ‘A terrible shame’


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John C. Ashton says he wishes precautions had been taken that could have prevented Helena Hutchins’ death

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SANTA FE, NM – A “Rust” actor said Friday he wished “cautions” had been taken on set that could have prevented Alec Baldwin’s tragic misfiring of a prop gun that left the film’s cinematographer dead .

“It’s a terrible shame. I wish precautions were taken so that this doesn’t happen,” John C. Ashton, who had a small role in the film, told The Post outside Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the film’s set was located.


“But I don’t know what really happened, the sheriff will tell, you know, so I can’t say, so I haven’t really thought about it that much because I don’t have much to go on.”

Thursday afternoon was Baldwin Handed over a prop gun filled with live rounds But was told it was safe a few minutes before the firing, Cinematographer Helena Hutchins murdered and injured director Joel Souza.

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Ashton believed that many of his fellow cast and crew would speak with counselors after the tragedy on set.

The 74-year-old actor, who previously had a small part in “Breaking Bad,” was slated to play “a postmaster at a desolate outpost” in the western and drives to Santa Fe from his home in Denver. When he learned the shooting had been cancelled.

The actor said that no one from the production company contacted him or his agent directly about what happened, and he only learned of the one-day shoot, which was scheduled for Sunday, when the costume company called.

On Friday evening, he drove himself to the entrance of the Bonanza Creek Ranch set, in the hopes that he would be allowed to check it out but the location was closed.

Ashton said he is waiting for more information before drawing conclusions about the industry’s security protocols.

“I haven’t really thought about how I should feel about security measures in the future, but I think it’s a sad, terrible thing,” he said.

Ashton sympathizes with baldwin, the film’s biggest star and one of the film’s producers, who was seen speaking on his cellphone and crying outside the Santa Fe Sheriff’s office shortly after the accident.

“He must be in terrible shape for this to happen to him. I feel bad for him, and I’m sure he’s sad about it… I hope he will.”

“It will take a while for him to settle down, any will do.”

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