Lthe family of a filmmaker killed by the accidental shooting of a revolver on the set of the western Rust filed a complaint against actor Alec Baldwin on Tuesday, February 15. Brian Panish, lawyer for the husband and son of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, notably questioned the “dangerous behavior” of Alec Baldwin and is claiming “substantial” damages.
Brian Panish also accused the cost-saving measures decided by the actor and the other producers of the low-budget western of having resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins. The lawyer cited a list of “at least 15 criteria” in force in the film industry which were ignored on the set of the film by the production. According to him, a dummy revolver should have been used rather than an operational weapon and that there was no individual qualified to handle firearms at the time of the accident. He finally deplored the fact that the team was not equipped with protective equipment, as is the case during the filming of certain scenes requiring the firing of blank cartridges.
The weapon presented as being harmless
At the time of the tragedy, on October 21 on a ranch in Santa Fe (New Mexico), Alec Baldwin was handling a revolver while he was working on a scene with this director of photography. She had been presented with the weapon as harmless because it was supposed to contain only dummy bullets but the shot was fired, mortally wounding the 42-year-old filmmaker. The complaint was filed in the state of New Mexico, where the death of Halyna Hutchins occurred.
This complaint is in addition to many other civil proceedings already initiated in recent months by members of the film crew. In November, the lighting chief Serge Svetnoy had filed a complaint for “negligence” against the actor, the production and the gunsmith of the shooting, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The latter herself filed a complaint last month against the man who had provided the ammunition used on the set, accusing him of having left live ammunition among the dummy cartridges. No arrests have been made to date in this case, but criminal proceedings are not excluded in the event that responsibilities are established, the services of the Santa Fe prosecutor pointed out shortly after the tragedy.