Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ armorer and other crew in new complaint3 min read
Actor Alec Baldwin sued the armorer, weapons supplier, first assistant director and prop master on the movie “Rust” for negligence after he accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The actor made the filing as a cross complaint in the ongoing case of script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who is suing Baldwin for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence in connection with the death of Hutchins on the set of the New Mexico western last October.
Baldwin and his attorney pulled from text messages, FBI analysis and other parts of the investigation into the shooting to claim that the crew members and supplier were negligent in their use of the weapons and ammunition and put the actor at risk.
“These cross-defendants are professionals who owed a duty to those on set, including Baldwin, to keep the set safe,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas wrote in his complaint. “Everyone on set, including Baldwin, expected and trusted them to do so. Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold cross-defendants accountable for their misconduct.”
Jason Bowles, attorney for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said he was reviewing the complaint, which was first reported on by the New York Times.
Attorneys for assistant director Dave Halls, weapons supplier Seth Kenney and prop master Sarah Zachry did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The lawsuit is the latest in a web of civil litigation that has emerged after the fatal shooting. The defendants and Baldwin have faced lawsuits in both Los Angeles and New Mexico.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker decided that Mitchell, the script supervisor, could proceed with her lawsuit. She had been standing close to Hutchins when a bullet from Baldwin’s gun struck and killed the cinematographer and injured director Joel Souza.
“Baldwin’s cross complaint is a shameful attempt to shift the blame to others, just as he has done since he fired the fatal shot which killed Ms. Hutchins and injured our client, Mamie Mitchell,” Gloria Allred, attorney for Mitchell, said in a statement.
Among Baldwin’s allegations are that Gutierrez Reed had been drinking and using marijuana away from the set, citing text messages to and from Zachry. “Zachry did not air these concerns until after the fatal shooting,” Baldwin’s attorney wrote in the complaint.
Baldwin alleged Zachry knew the armorer was “misplacing things and mixing them up” but did not make her concerns known to the production. Moreover, he cited text messages to Zachry that alleged Gutierrez Reed took the prop guns to a shooting range where “she loaded them with live ammunition and did target practice,” according to the complaint.
Baldwin also alleged the film’s weapons supplier Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm and Prop stored ammunition without proper labels, segregation or organization, according to the complaint. “Their cavalier disregard for proper separation between live and dummy ammunition was one of the factors that led to the presence of live ammunition on the set of Rust,” Nikas said in the filing. Nikas cited an FBI analysis, alleging that the gun given to Baldwin in filming was in poor condition.
The actor alleged Halls was supposed to hold safety meetings every day that weapons were used on set but did not, citing interviews by New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case. The local district attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, has indicated she may bring charges against up to four individuals including Baldwin.