The fatal shooting on the set of the movie Rust which was taking place in Santa Fe, Mexico, claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and left another injured. It was actor Alec Baldwin who accidentally killed Hutchins, a wife and a mother of one.
After the accident, Baldwin released a statement. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
LA Times reported that prior to the fatal shot, a group of camera crew workers walked off set because safety protocols weren’t strictly followed. Camera operator Lane Luper was among those who left and was reported saying, “This set was unsafe simply because they didn’t have the wherewithal to follow safety rules that we have in this industry that we’ve been following for decades,” as per Sky News.
Late Hutchins family filed a wrongful death suit which names Baldwin and others who “are responsible for the safety on the set” and “reckless behavior and cost-cutting.”
As reported by Fox News, the lawsuit read: “Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her [passing] if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations.”
Further, it said, “This lawsuit seeks justice for the losses of her survivors and to hold responsible those who caused her tragic [passing].”
The actor’s lawyers asked for any lawsuits to be dismissed claiming the tragedy was a “workplace accident.”
Yet in documents released earlier this week officially detailing the charges, as per the BBC, Baldwin is accused of being “distracted” while talking to family members on his mobile phone during training about how to operate the prop gun to be used on set.
However, on Tuesday, a Santa Fe district attorney announced Alec Baldwin and and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed would be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” Mary Carmack-Altwies said.
“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are now formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
If Baldwin had performed mandatory safety checks with the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and not pointed the gun at Hutchins, the “tragedy would not have occurred,” Robert Shilling, a special investigator for the district attorney’s office, wrote in a statement of probable cause filed with the manslaughter charges.
“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” he said.
“Baldwin knew the first rule of gun safety is never point a gun at someone you don’t intend on shooting.”
As of assistant director David Halls, he signed a plea agreement and will face six months of probation.
In the months following the shooting, investigators discovered 500 rounds of ammunition, among which blanks, dummies, and what looked like live rounds.
If found guilty, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed could spend up to 18 months in prison. They would also be forced to pay a $5,000 fine.
Their lawyers said they would be fighting the charges at court.
We are so very sorry that a young life was lost in such a manner.
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