Alec Baldwin filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Los Angeles on Friday against several people involved in the Rust film over the shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021, as The Associated Press reports.
Hutchins was fatally shot by Baldwin while they were rehearsing a scene for Rust, which was filming near Santa Fe, Mexico. The film’s script supervisor Mamie Mitchell was standing near Hutchins when the shooting took place.
The actor, who is one of the defendants named in a 2021 lawsuit filed by Mitchell, filed the cross-complaint against some of the people Mitchell is suing, including armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who was in charge of the guns and ammunition on the set, first assistant director David Halls who handed the gun to Baldwin and allegedly declared it safe, armorer assistant Seth Kenney and the prop weapon and ammunition supply store Kenney owns — purportedly the primary supplier of the guns and ammunition used on the set, as well as prop master Sarah Zachry. It claims negligence, and the actor seeks to share any damages Mitchell may receive from those in his cross-complaint, and also wants them to pay any damages levied against him, among other relief. All have previously denied responsibility for the shooting.
Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed and Halls did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment. Attempts to reach Kenney and Zachry’s attorneys were unsuccessful. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles told CNN “[Baldwin] was the one who shot Halyna, and it’s his fault, no one else’s.”
In the cross-complaint, Baldwin says that neither he nor Hutchins knew the gun he was using for rehearsal carried a live round. The suit claims that while he and Hutchins were working on camera angles, he pointed the gun in her direction and pulled back and released the hammer of the weapon, which discharged. The incident also wounded director Joel Souza.
Baldwin has maintained that he was told that the gun was safe and that he never pulled the trigger.
“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,” the actor’s lawsuit says.
New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Examiner determined the shooting to be an accident. Prosecutors are investigating to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.
In April, the Rust production was hit with $137,000 in fines, the maximum amount New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau issues, determining the production willfully failed to provide adequate safety precautions on the set. The company is challenging the fine.
Last month, Baldwin and the production of Rust reached a settlement agreement with the family of Hutchins, who filed a wrongful death suit in February. The terms of the agreement are unknown. Filming is set to resume in January 2023.