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Alec Baldwin Sues ‘Rust’ Armorer and Crew For Negligence

The actor names Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first AD Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachry and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney in a lawsuit.

Alec Baldwin Rust

Alec Baldwin

Getty Images

Alec Baldwin has filed a lawsuit Friday accusing the armorer and crew members on “Rust” of negligence, saying they were responsible for handing him the loaded gun that fired and killed the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, in October 2021.

Baldwin in his suit, as obtained by IndieWire, named the armorer tasked with handling the weapons on set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director Dave Halls, the individual in charge of props, Sarah Zachry, and Seth Kenney of PDQ Arm & Prop, which supplied the ammunition and guns to the film set. Baldwin specifically accused Gutierrez-Reed of failing to check the gun or the bullets of the gun carefully, as well as Halls for not checking the weapon before he had announced that it was a “cold gun” and handed it to Baldwin. It also says Zachry failed in her duties as prop master by not ensuring the safety of the weapons and ammunition on set.

“This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun. This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her. Baldwin did not know and had no reason to know any of these facts. But Cross Defendants did,” attorney for Alec Baldwin, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, said in the lawsuit and in a statement.

Lawyers Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and Kenney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An attorney for Zachry could not be reached for comment.

The allegations against the “Rust” crew members is part of a cross-complaint that follows a lawsuit filed against him and other members of the crew last year by the film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, claiming that the shooting caused her emotional distress. That lawsuit is ongoing, and a judge earlier this month declined to dismiss Baldwin as a defendant in the case.

Baldwin as part of the lawsuit says he has lost work and other opportunities as a result of the shooting and is asking for indemnification from legal damages stemming from Mitchell’s case.

“There can be no doubt that others have suffered from Cross-Defendants’ negligence far more than Baldwin has. Hutchins lost her life, and her young child lost his mother. Producer Joel Souza was shot in the shoulder and has suffered physical and emotional pain,” Nikas’ statement in the lawsuit continues. “Though by no means comparable, Baldwin must live with the immense grief, and the resulting emotional, physical, and financial toll, caused by the fact that Cross-Defendants’ negligent conduct, assurances, and supervision put a loaded weapon in his hand and led him, Hutchins, and everyone else on set to believe that his directed use of the weapon was safe. More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy.”

The deadly “Rust” shooting took place on October 21, 2021 in which Baldwin held a gun that discharged and contained a live bullet, ultimately killing Hutchins and injuring the film’s director Joel Souza. Last month, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office turned over its final investigative report to the state’s district attorney, which is reviewing the material and is determining whether to press criminal charges. The Sheriff’s office has yet to release any findings of its final report.

However, Baldwin’s lawsuit cites some evidence that was released earlier this year by the Santa Fe County Sheriff, including photos that claimed Kenney’s company had kept weapons and ammunition improperly stored. It also cited and includes images from an FBI report that found that live bullets had been found in multiple places on set, including in a bandoleer that Baldwin was wearing on the day of the accident.

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