Alec Baldwin responded on Instagram to the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) findings after an investigation into the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the “Rust” production.
Baldwin, who is currently facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ husband —as are seven other producers, armorers Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Seth Kenney, and various crew members — shared a statement from his attorney regarding the OHSB report.
“We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter,” the Instagram post stated. “We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds. Additionally, the report recognizes that Mr. Baldwin’s authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting.”
The statement continued, “Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues. We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy.”
Hutchins died October 21, 2021, after being shot through the torso following the firing of a prop revolver gun that contained a live round. Actor Baldwin was holding the gun when it fired, but he has stated he did not pull the trigger.
Search warrants later revealed that armorer Reed Gutierrez loaded the Colt .45 gun with what she allegedly believed were dummy rounds. She then gave the gun to Dave Halls, the first assistant director, who announced that it was a “cold gun,” while handing it to Baldwin, per Variety.
Three other “Rust” crew members have already filed lawsuits, including script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, gaffer Serge Svetnoy, and key medic Cherlyn Schaefer. Armorer Reed Gutierrez also separately sued mentor Kenney, who supplied ammunition to the set, alleging that he mixed live and dummy ammunition.
The OHSB April 20 report, officially titled “OHSB ‘Rust’ Workplace Fatality Investigation”, concluded that the “Rust Movie Productions, LLC management knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action.”
The investigation noted that production “willfully violated” safety procedures and demonstrated “plain indifference” to the well-being of its employees, cast and crew. The government office also issued a fine of $136,793 against the production, the maximum fine allowed by New Mexico state law.