Alec Baldwin files lawsuit to ‘clear his name’ in fatal Rust shooting

Alec Baldwin has sued three crew members of the movie Rust over the fatal on-set shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin’s lawsuit was filed on Friday (11 November) at the Los Angeles Superior Court as a cross-complaint arising from a previous suit filed by the film’s script supervisor Mamie Mitchell.

The new filing placed the responsibility for the tragic shooting on the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director David Halls, and prop master Sarah Zachry, as well as weapons supplier Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm & Prop.

Baldwin alleged that Gutierrez-Reed “failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully” and that Halls announced the gun was safe for him to use without inspecting it properly.

In the filing, the 64-year-old also accused Zachry of failing to “disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly offset and was a safety risk to those around her”.

All four were also named as defendants along with Baldwin in the suit filed by Mitchell, who said the shooting caused her severe emotional distress.

The fatal incident occurred in October last year at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the western was being filmed.

Hutchins was killed after she was struck by a live round discharged from a prop gun held by Baldwin. The film’s director and producer Joel D’Souza was also injured in the shooting.

“These cross-defendants are professionals who owed a duty to those on set, including Baldwin, to keep the set safe,” Baldwin’s lawyer Luke Nikas wrote in his complaint.

“Everyone on set, including Baldwin, expected and trusted them to do so.”

Baldwin’s suit, obtained by Deadline, continued: “There can be no doubt that others have suffered from the 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.”

The 30 Rock actor is seeking damages for the “immense grief and the resulting emotional, physical, and financial toll” stemming from the cross-defendants’ “negligent conduct”.

“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy.

“By these cross-claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold cross-defendants accountable for their misconduct,” the filing added.

Responding to the lawsuit on behalf of Gutierrez-Reed, her lawyer Jason Bowles toldThe Independent: “Baldwin caused all the harm. He failed to do the training.”

The Independent has also reached out to representatives for Halls for comment, but couldn’t immediately reach a representative for Kenney or Zachry.

An attorney for Halls has previously disputed that he gave the gun to Baldwin, adding that it was not his responsibility to check the weapon for live rounds.

The others named in Baldwin’s lawsuit have also previously denied responsibility over the shooting.

Gutierrez-Reed sued Kenney’s firm in January this year, claiming the supplier gave her a cache of dummy ammunition with live rounds mixed in.

Kenney has denied these claims.

Last month, Baldwin and the film’s other producers settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ family.

Baldwin’s lawsuit reportedly comes days before the Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies expected to announce whether her office will bring charges in the case.

Additional reporting by PA