The family of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has filed a wrongful death suit against Alec Baldwin in New Mexico on Tuesday.
“There are many people culpable, but Mr. Baldwin was the person holding the weapon,” Hutchins family attorney Brian Panish said at a press conference. “That but for him shooting it, she would not have died,” the attorney explained. “So clearly, he has a significant portion of liability.”
Using a computer animated simulation, the attorneys for Halyna Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, re-created how they say the October 21, 2021 incident transpired, during which Rust star and producer Baldwin fired a live round from a vintage-style Colt revolver, fatally striking Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Baldwin insists the gun just “went off,” and that he was told the weapon was safe to handle.
The Hutchins family attorneys disagree with Baldwin’s repeated claims of innocence, asserting that the production violated or ignored 15 industry-standard safety practices, and that Baldwin himself was personally at fault.
Among the safety violations allegedly violated were that Baldwin didn’t first rehearse the scene with a rubber prop gun, and that he allegedly failed to keep his finger off the trigger of the gun he fired.
“Mr. Baldwin refused weapons training on how to perform a cross draw, the type of gun draw he was about to perform…,” the attorneys further alleged. “The first rule for safety with firearms and a production set required Mr. Baldwin to treat all firearms as if they were loaded.”
Further, the suit claims 23-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was “an inexperienced weapons master” who was “unqualified for the degree of skill required on the Rust set.” Rust was only second film on which she worked.
“No one should ever die with a real gun on a make-believe movie set that should never happen,” added attorney Randi McGinn.
The legal team representing Hutchins’ family is seeing “substantial” damages from Baldwin.
A criminal investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.