New Details Of Alec Baldwin On-Set Shooting Outlined In Legal Report

A recently released legal document provides a clearer picture of the accidental shooting that resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin's upcoming film, Rust. Baldwin, who both produced and co-wrote Rust, is set to star in the lead role as Harland Rust, an outlaw in 1880s Kansas who rescues his teenage grandson (Brady Noon) from a wrongful conviction while evading a U.S. Marshall (Jensen Ackles) and a bounty hunter (Travis Fimmel). The film is directed by Joel Souza with Halyna Hutchins in the role of cinematographer prior to the fatal incident last week.

The shooting occurred last Thursday at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, shortly after noon. Baldwin was unaware that the prop gun he would be using for the scene they were filming was loaded with live ammunition. As Baldwin unholstered his gun, the firearm reportedly discharged and struck both Hutchins and Souza, killing the former and grievously injuring the latter. While recovering from his wounds in emergency care, Souza was able to provide authorities with more details leading up to the incident.

Related: Why Prop Guns Can Be Lethal: The Real Danger On Film Sets

According to a search warrant obtained by The Los Angeles Times, the prop gun present on set was to be handled by three people: armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, assistant director Dave Halls, and Baldwin himself. "Halls did not know live rounds were in the gun when he handed it to Baldwin," leading the AD to mistakenly announce that it was a "cold gun" (i.e. an unloaded firearm). Meanwhile, camera operator Reid Russell moved the camera to a new angle to account for a stray shadow obstructing the scene. According to Russell, the loaded prop gun reportedly fired "as Baldwin was explaining how [...] his arm would be when he pulled the gun from the holster." Souza "was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder when the gun discharged," which is why the two were the only ones struck by the live round.

The affidavit states that the incident occurred shortly after six crew members walked off the set in protest of poor "payment and housing" conditions. Independent reports have corroborated these allegations, with an anonymous insider saying that Rust's crew felt unsafe on set during filming. Emerging details paint a picture of a production that was made unsafe from the outset by gross negligence from those responsible for overseeing safety on set.

News of Hutchins' death comes after months of heated negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). IATSE had planned a general strike to advocate for better pay and working conditions for union members, though it was ultimately averted after the two parties reached a tenuous agreement last week. It seems now that the incident on the set of Rust will reignite discussions surrounding crew members' safety on Hollywood productions. Hopefully the incident will inspire change so that such a tragedy does not occur again.

More: How ScarJo's Black Widow Lawsuit Changed Disney (& Hollywood)

Source: The Los Angeles Times

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