Alec Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ crew after Halyna Hutchins’ death on set

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Alec Baldwin is suing the armorer and others associated with the movie “Rust” after he was handed a loaded gun on set that went off last year, killing a cinematographer.

Baldwin claims in the lawsuit that the shooting was caused by the negligence of armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of guns and ammunition on set; assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and said it was safe; Sarah Zachry, who was in charge of props; and Seth Kenney, who provided weapons and ammunition on set and assisted the armorer. Baldwin, who was sued after the shooting, “seeks to clear his name” and hold the defendants “accountable for their wrongdoing,” according to the counterclaim filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by the actor’s attorney, Luke Nikas.

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“This tragedy occurred because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to carefully check the bullets or the gun, Halls failed to carefully check the gun and yet communicated that the gun was safe before handing it over to Baldwin , and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had acted recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her,” Nikas wrote.

The Washington Post was not immediately able to reach the defendants Friday evening.

In October 2021, Baldwin was inside a church building at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, NM, practicing cocking the gun when it went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. It was not clear why the prop had live ammunition.

According to interviews conducted by the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office, people on set saw and heard Halls retrieve a .45 Long Colt revolver from Gutierrez-Reed, announce it was a “cold gun” and hand it to Baldwin. The industry term means that there are no live rounds in a weapon.

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A New Mexico medical examiner ruled Hutchins’ manner of death an accident after she was shot in the chest. An FBI report suggested that the gun could not have fired without its trigger being pulled.

FBI tests indicate that a gun in ‘Rust’ shooting could not fire without a trigger

Baldwin’s lawsuit is the latest since the shooting: Gutierrez-Reed sued Kenney, saying he was responsible for the live ammunition on the set. Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell sued several, including Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed, and Halls over workplace safety claims.

Matthew Hutchins, Halyna Hutchins’ husband, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit this year against Baldwin and other entities involved in the production, seeking damages and punitive damages. The defendants settled the lawsuit last month.

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On Dec. 2, Alec Baldwin spoke with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about the October 2021 filming on the set of the movie “Rust.” (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

After news of the settlement, Matthew Hutchins called his wife’s death a “terrible accident.”

“I have no interest in engaging in accusations or assigning blame [to the producers or Mr. Baldwin]Hutchins said in a statement last month after reaching a settlement with the actor. “We all believe that Halyna’s death was a terrible accident.”

Alec Baldwin, others settle with Halyna Hutchins’ family in ‘Rust’ lawsuit

Filming will resume next year, according to the statement, with Matthew Hutchins as executive producer.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office turned over its investigative report to local prosecutors in October, but the results of the investigation are not public. Local prosecutors have not filed charges in connection with the shooting.

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