San Diego production company ‘shocked’ by deadly prop gun shooting


SAN DIEGO — Movie talent and producers in San Diego are bewildered by the shooting and safety conditions surrounding the prop gun used by Alec Baldwin.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office said Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed the photography director and wounded the director while filming near Santa Fe Thursday afternoon.

Stu Segall, of Strategic Operations, said he uses prop guns for his hyper-realistic tactical training and for filming productions at their lot, but uses them as safely as possible.

“I’m shocked that this could happen in this day and age,” said Larry Poole, actor and former vice president of the San Diego Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Poole insisted a deadly shooting on set never should have happened.

“Most of the guns used on set nowadays and the westerns we work on are non-firing, replica weapons with plugged barrels, or the firing pins have been removed and a lot of the weapons they wouldn’t even be capable of loading a bullet into them,” he said. “The fact of the matter is real, they’re rubber.”

Investigators say one person was killed and another hurt after Alec Baldwin fired a “prop firearm” on the New Mexico set of his western film “Rust.” 

“It’s a shame that all this happened and my thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims,” Poole said. “It’s just a tragedy.”

Poole said he also just wrapped filming his own western film, “The Last Shootout,” where he was involved in many shootout scenes. 

“I’ve been shot, shot at and been the guy shooting,” he said. “There wasn’t a single blank fired on that set. Everything was done in post and it looks completely real. We’ve never had a safety issue.” 

Meanwhile, Segall said all the prop guns used at Strategic Operations are plugged, which means a bullet can’t come out of them.

He added that the prop master is mainly responsible for making sure they are used safely.

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