Alec Baldwin has filed a lawsuit over the fatal shooting that occurred on the set of "Rust" last year, alleging the negligence of multiple crew members to "clear his name."
The case, which was filed on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, names as defendants the first assistant director, armorer, ammunition supplier, and prop master of the western.
Baldwin's counterclaim follows a lawsuit filed by the film's script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, the previous year. Baldwin was accused of playing Russian roulette by pointing a Colt.45 handgun at Halyna Hutchins, the film's cinematographer, and inadvertently shooting and killing her. Director Joel Souza was also injured during the shooting in October 2021.
In the case, Alec Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, stated, "More than anyone else on that scene, Baldwin has been wrongly perceived as the culprit of this catastrophe." Baldwin tries to clear his name and make cross-defendants accountable for their actions through his cross-claims.
According to officials, Hutchins was killed by a live round within the firearm. Concerns have been raised as to how to live ammo made its way onto the New Mexico set and into the prop gun, as well as whether crew members took the necessary safety steps.
Amid an investigation into the shooting and subsequent cases, those mentioned in Baldwin's claim have denied fault.
The attorney for Mamie Mitchell, Gloria Allred, released a statement late Friday night in response to Baldwin's lawsuit, stating that his "cross complaint is a disgusting attempt to transfer the blame to others, just as he has done since he fired the deadly shot that murdered Ms. Hutchins."
Allred stated, "[Baldwin] alleges that everyone else was careless and that everyone is at fault." "Mr. Baldwin appears to contend that he alone is innocent... In contravention of industry standards and common sense, [Baldwin] neglected to ensure that the firearm did not contain live ammo. He cannot absolve himself of responsibility for this awful event by blaming others.
According to a search warrant document, the film's first assistant director, Dave Halls, handed the revolver to Baldwin while exclaiming "cold gun" to alert the team that a gun with no live ammunition was being used. According to the affidavit, Halls informed investigators that he did not realize the revolver contained live ammunition when he gave it to Baldwin.
Baldwin's lawsuit claimed that the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, "failed to inspect the ammunition or the pistol carefully" and had been acting "recklessly," including allegedly using the film's fake guns for target practice at a shooting range.
A counsel for Gutierrez-Reed earlier stated that his client was unaware of the source of the live rounds and was not in the chapel during the rehearsal.
Baldwin's attorney, Jason Bowles, stated in response to Baldwin's claim, "Baldwin is fully liable for the harm that occurred." "He refused instruction, pointed the rifle, and pulled the trigger in the absence of the armorer. His arrogance is incredible. It is his fault, full stop."
Gutierrez-Reed filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Albuquerque prop firm PDQ Arm and Prop LLC, accusing them of delivering live bullets in a crate that was only intended to contain dummy rounds.
In an interview with ABC News days after the shooting, the owner of the prop house, Seth Kenney, disputed that the live round and other live rounds found on the scene originated from his business.
Kenney stated that there is no likelihood that they originated from PDQ or him directly. Before sending out simulated ammunition, each round is manually inspected for rattling.
Baldwin's lawsuit also contends that the film's prop master, Sarah Zachry, failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed posed a safety danger to people in her vicinity.
According to the lawsuit, Baldwin "suffered significant damages" as a result of the defendants' claimed carelessness.
"He has endured bodily and emotional pain as a result of his anguish over these events. The complaint alleges that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder on a daily basis. "Baldwin has also lost a large number of employment opportunities and accompanying earnings. For example, he has been fired from many jobs and passed over for other opportunities because of the incident on 'Rust.'
He seeks unspecified damages and indemnification against any damages that may result from Mitchell's action.
After a year-long investigation into the incident, the Santa Fe County sheriff's office turned over its report to the local district attorney last month. The district attorney will determine whether to file criminal charges against anyone involved in the shooting.
The Hutchins family struck a settlement in their wrongful death case against the film's creators, including Baldwin, last month.