Alec Baldwin pursues gunsmith ‘Rust’, several other crew members for more than a year after fatal shooting on set

Alec Baldwin sued the gunsmith and several other crew members involved in the production of “Rust” for negligence for more than a year after a gun he was holding unloaded, kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and hurtful director Joel Souza on a western set in New Mexico. In the lawsuit, Baldwin alleges that he was not responsible for the security of the set and was unaware that there were live ammunition in the gun.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges that gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed “did not carefully check the bullets or the firearm”; assistant director David Halls “did not carefully check the weapon and yet announced that the weapon was safe before handing it over to Baldwin”; and prop master Sarah Zachry “did not disclose that Gutierrez-Reed acted recklessly off set and posed a safety risk to those around her”.

Moreover, Baldwin, who was also one of the film’s six producers, “did not know and had no reason to know any of these facts,” the lawsuit states.

The shooting took place on October 21, 2021, inside a church building on a film set outside Santa Fe. Baldwin was sitting on a wooden bench, rehearsing while drawing his prop gun and pointing him at the camera, when he fired, according to a search warrant filed by Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigators.

The lawsuit alleges Baldwin “withdrew and then released the hammer” and the gun fired, hitting Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48. Hutchins was hit in the chest and Souza in the shoulder.

Baldwin repeatedly said it was an accident, insisting he didn’t pull the trigger. But an FBI forensic report found the gun could not have fired unless the trigger was pulled, according to the Associated Press. The New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office determined that Hutchins’ death was accidental.

In the days following the shooting, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that the loaded firearm was “handled and/or inspected” by Gutierrez-Reed and Halls before being fired by Baldwin.

The lawsuit says Gutierrez-Reed specifically told Baldwin not to check the weapons on set — that it was his job to do so. However, according to the lawsuit, she failed to properly inspect the gun before handing it over to Baldwin. He also claims she was disorganized, leaving ammunition strewn across the set, and failed to secure the weapons.

Halls, for his part, according to the lawsuit, either did not check the gun or did not report his concern about a bullet in the gun which he allegedly told a witness looked different. others. Instead, he told Baldwin the gun was “cold” or safe to use.

Seth Kenney and his company, PDQ, which supplied most of the weapons and ammunition on set, are also included as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit includes photos of a disorganized space, where weapons and ammunition used on the “Rust” set were allegedly stored. He also said investigators found several live rounds on the “Rust” set and that the FBI located live rounds mixed with blanks during a search of the PDQ.

“As a props supplier, Kenney and PDQ (located at 126 Monroe Street) should not have stored live ammunition in the same disorganized premises, let alone mixed them,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also featured emails sent between Baldwin and others in which he asks who is in charge of weapons on set and requests firearms training before filming. According to the lawsuit, the emails show he was not involved in hiring the gunsmith and that he “takes safety seriously and wanted to make sure he received the safety training available. on the set of Rust”.

The shooting resulted in various lawsuits. Last year, “Rust” screenwriter Mamie Mitchell for follow-up Baldwin and the other producers, saying he should have checked the gun himself. Since then, several other lawsuits have been filed, while the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office incident report was turned over to prosecutors for potential charges.

Mendoza described “a degree of negligence” on the “Rust” set, but leaves decisions about possible criminal charges up to prosecutors.

Last month, the family of Baldwin and Hutchins reached a settlementand the actor announced that filming would resume.

Baldwin’s lawsuit adds that the 67-year-old actor “was wrongly held to be the perpetrator of this tragedy.”

“He suffered physically and emotionally from the grief caused by these events,” the lawsuit said. “Not a day goes by that he doesn’t think and suffer from the events that happened that day.”

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