Alec Baldwin Rust shooting: Halyna Hutchins’ death caused by ‘complete failure’ to follow gun safety rules | US News


A report into Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust has found management “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed”.

New Mexico safety regulators have fined the film company a maximum $139,793 (£107,019) after an “avoidable loss of life occurred”.

They said it “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action”.

Cinematographer Hutchins died after a prop gun held by Baldwin fired a live round during rehearsals in October 2021.

The actor was one of the producers of the Western, as well as its star.

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Reconstruction of Rust shooting

“Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” said state environment official James Kenney.

“This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognised national protocols that keep employees safe.”

The report included testimony that managers took limited or no action over two previous misfires on set.

It also documented safety complaints that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about extra training.

The company’s documents indicated it would follow guidelines but it failed to do so, added the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) report.

Those guidelines included:

Not bringing live ammo onto any studio or lot; holding daily safety meetings when guns are used; and that staff “refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone” except after consulting the armourer or other safety rep.

Rust Movie Productions said it disagreed with the findings and planned to appeal.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Halyna’s family,” it said.

Serge Svetnoy and Halyna Hutchins
Rust’s head of lighting Serge Svetnoy, pictured with Hutchins, is among those suing

Lawyers have said the gun fired after Baldwin pointed it at Ms Hutchins during a scene set-up. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also injured.

Baldwin has said he was pointing the gun at her instruction and that it went off without him pulling the trigger.

The report said assistant director David Halls, who served as safety coordinator, had passed Baldwin the revolver without consulting weapons specialists during or after the moment it was loaded.

Baldwin is currently facing several lawsuits, including from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and head of lighting Serge Svetnoy, as well as Ms Hutchins’ family.

After the report’s release, his lawyer said it “exonerates” Baldwin by “making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds” and that he had “no authority” over the safety matters highlighted.

“We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy,” said Luke Nikas.

Mitchell’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said the report was a “stinging indictment which goes way beyond mere negligence”.

“Everyone responsible for what happened on that production which led to the tragedy should hang their heads in shame,” said Ms Allred.

A separate investigation into possible criminal charges is ongoing.

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December 2021: ‘Hutchins’ death will never be behind us’

In a December interview, Baldwin said that while he “would go to any lengths to undo what happened”, he does not feel guilt over the fatal shooting – saying that while “someone is responsible for what happened… I know it’s not me”.

He said Ms Hutchins was “somebody who was loved by everybody and admired by everybody who worked with her”.

The incident also resulted in calls from politicians for increased state-sponsored firearms training.

New Mexico’s OHSB said its investigation covered 1,560 hours of staff time, 14 interviews, and review of 566 documents.

Hutchins, 42, grew up on an army base in the Russian Arctic, where her father served in the navy, before moving to Los Angeles to study film.

She was considered a rising star in her field.


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