Alec Baldwin is named defendant over Rust shooting accident
The lighting director for the film Rust filed a lawsuit Wednesday over Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza on the New Mexico set of the Western, alleging negligence that caused “severe emotional distress” to haunt him forever.
Serge Svetnoy said in the suit that the bullet that killed his close friend Hutchins narrowly missed him, and he held her head as she died. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court names nearly two dozen defendants associated with the film, including Baldwin, who was both star and producer; David Halls, the assistant director who gave Baldwin the gun; and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of the guns on the set. It is the first known lawsuit of what could be many stemming from the 21 October shooting, which also injured Rust director Joel Souza. The lawsuit accuses the film’s producers of breaching their obligations by allowing live ammunition to be stored on the set.
Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old gunsmith on the film, was primarily responsible for the firearms and ammunition. Last Wednesday, her lawyers insisted that she was unaware that there were live bullets on the set and that her client was being framed for Hutchins‘ death.
“Simply put, there was no reason for an actual bullet to be placed in that Colt .45 revolver or to be present anywhere on the set of Rust, and the presence of a bullet in a revolver posed a lethal threat to everyone in its vicinity,” states the lawsuit, which alleges a failure to “implement and maintain industry standards for the safekeeping and control of firearms used on the set.”
Svetnoy has previously spoken of his trauma from the incident, posting on Facebook that “I held her in my arms as she was dying “and” she had blood on her hands.” He also shared what he called the last photo of Hutchins in the film set in New Mexico.