Alec Baldwin Sued By 'Rust' Cinematographer's Family
By Jason Hall
February 15, 2022
Alec Baldwin is now being sued by the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed in an accidental fatal shooting on the set of the film Rust last October involving the actor, the family confirmed in a press conference on Tuesday (February 15).
TMZ obtained a lawsuit in which attorneys representing Hutchins' family lists lapses in safety that led to the cinematographer's death, which lists crew members who failed to treat the gun as if it was loaded prior to the 42-year-old's death.
Baldwin is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which claims he was only four feet away from crew members and reached across his body to grab the revolver from its holster, drew back the weapon with a cross draw and aimed it directly at Hutchins before pulling back the firearm's hammer.
Hutchins was struck by a bullet from a .45 Colt revolver being held by Baldwin, who has stated that the firearm unexpectedly discharged a live bullet when he released the hammer during filming.
Last month, Baldwin turned his phone over to police in connection to an ongoing investigation into the accidental shooting.
A spokesperson for the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office confirmed to CNN that Baldwin gave his phone to law enforcement officials in Suffolk County, New York -- where he resides -- who have assisted New Mexico -- where the shooting took place -- in locating the device.
"They will gather information off the phone and provide the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office with the evidence gathered," said Santa Fe County Sheriff spokesperson Juan Rios via CNN. "The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office does not yet have physical possession of the data to be retrieved off the Baldwin phone," Rios added, but noted "this is in process."
In a post shared on his verified Instagram account on January 9, Baldwin addressed the issue of his cell phone in relation to the investigation.
“Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone" is "a lie," Baldwin said in the video while sitting behind the wheel of his vehicle.
During an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that aired on December 2, Baldwin said director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, who was killed in the accidental shooting, was directing his moves leading up to the weapon being fired and said he "didn't pull the trigger," but cocked it and the firearm unexpectedly discharged a live bullet when he released the hammer.
"She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle," Baldwin said via ABC News. "I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit."
"So, I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I'm not going to pull the trigger," Baldwin continued. "And I cock the gun, I go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?' And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun – the gun goes off."
"So you never pulled the trigger?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"No, no, no, no, no," Baldwin said. "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never. That was the training that I had."
In November, the New York Times reported the gun involved in the shooting was left unattended for two hours prior to accident taking place.
Jason Bowles, an attorney representing Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, told the Times the gun was left on a tray for about two hours after Gutierrez-Reed loaded it with six dummy rounds, who took the ammunition from a box labeled "dummies," which are rounds that contain no gunpowder and are used to resemble bullets during filming.
Gutierrez-Reed's other attorney, Robert Gorence, said the armorer loaded three firearms set to be used later during the filming session, including the .45 Long Colt used by Baldwin, and left the guns encased in socks to prevent anyone who happened to pass by from handling them before going on a lunch break and leaving the weapons unattended.
A separate lawsuit against several fellow crew members and producers for negligence in connection to the incident was filed by a medic who responded on the set.
Cherlyn Schaefer claims she experienced "tremendous shock, trauma and severe emotional distress" in connection to her emergency efforts to attempt to save cinematographer Hutchins' life according to a complaint filed on February 7 in New Mexico obtained by Rolling Stone.