Veteran Prop Master Says He Turned Down 'Rust' Job Over Safety Concerns on Set
Neal Zoromski says he was asked to combine the job of armorer and assistant property master into a single position to save money on the low budget western starring Alec Baldwin. The investigation into the tragic shooting continues.
A veteran prop master says he turned down a job on the set of “Rust,” where a fatal shooting took place last week, over safety concerns.
“I had a terrible feeling about this one, for sure,” Neal Zoromski, property master of the TNT show “Franklin & Bash," told Inside Edition.
Zoromski revealed he was asked to combine the job of armorer and assistant property master into a single position to save money on the low budget western starring Alec Baldwin.
“Right there, I knew there was an issue and something was terribly wrong, because those positions have a singular focus all of their own,” Zoromski said.
Zoromski says he suggested a team of five and the film came back offering a team of three.
“So right off the bat, there was comprising,” Zoromski said.
The revelation comes as the investigation continues into the Oct. 21 tragedy, in which Baldwin fired a prop gun while rehearsing a scene on the New Mexico set, striking and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
Detectives reportedly seized “two boxes of ammo,” “loose ammo” and a “fanny pack with ammo” they found as evidence.
There are also reports that the prop gun that killed Hutchins may have been used for target practice the morning of the shooting.
A source told entertainment news site The Wrap that, "Crew members had taken prop guns ...including the gun that killed Hutchins — to go 'plinking,' a hobby in which people shoot at beer cans with live ammunition."
It’s also been revealed that assistant director Dave Halls, who reportedly called out “cold gun” before handing the pistol to Baldwin, was fired from the set of the movie “Freedom’s Path” in 2019 after a gun unexpectedly discharged, causing a minor injury to a crew member.
A photo taken inside the church moments before the fatal shooting shows Baldwin and the crew rehearsing the scene. Baldwin stood just a few feet from Hutchins, while Halls stood nearby.
Thomas Pimentel, owner of prop rental company TNT Limited Productions, demonstrated how safety plexiglass works. He says that live ammo should never be “anywhere near the set.”
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