Alec Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ armorer over fatal shooting


(NewsNation) — Alec Baldwin is suing the armorer and other crew members on the set of ‘Rust’ over the fatal shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin alleges in the suit that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer, and David Halls, an assistant director, acted negligently by handing him the loaded gun that killed Hutchins and announcing it was safe. Also named in the suit is Sarah Zachry, who Baldwin alleges “failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set.”

“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in the lawsuit. “By these Cross-Claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold Cross-Defendants accountable for their misconduct.”

Hutchins was fatally shot on the set on Oct. 21, 2021, when Baldwin discharged a prop gun after he was told it was a “cold” weapon. Director Joel Souza was also wounded when the Colt .45-caliber revolver went off.

Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in February. In August, New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator ruled the shooting an accident following the completion of an autopsy and a review of law enforcement reports.

State attorneys are still reviewing the case for any possible criminal charges.

Baldwin’s narrative of that day is listed in what’s known as a cross-complaint in a lawsuit that was filed against him by Mamie Mitchell, who sued Baldwin and the production company for emotional distress. Gutierrez-Reed, Zachry and Halls are all listed as defendants in the original suit.

Baldwin’s attorneys assert he had no knowledge that the gun was loaded, and therefore shouldn’t be liable.

“In fact, (Gutierrez-Reed) told Baldwin that it was her job to check the gun — not his,” the suit alleges. “Similarly, Baldwin believed, based on prior gun safety training he received on move sets, that actors should not unliterally check guns for live ammunition.”

In the year since the shooting, investigations by law enforcement officials and state safety regulators found there was “complacency” on set regarding gun safety. The FBI concluded in a report that the gun couldn’t have been fired without the trigger, though Baldwin says he did no such thing.

Baldwin’s complaint points to those lax safety protocols and includes text messages from crew members who aired concerns about Hall and Gutierrez-Reed. Hall, as safety coordinator, was supposed to hold safety meetings each day a firearm was used, though texts indicate he didn’t do so.

The lawsuit also notes guns, including the one used by Baldwin that day, were prone to break. Attorneys also include text messages between Zachry and Seth Kenney, who supplied the ammunition for the set, about Gutierrez-Reed’s alcohol consumption.

Baldwin is seeking a jury trial and compensation for damages.

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