Alec Baldwin sued over "Rust" shooting, had allegedly turned down training for gun draw

The lawsuit questions why the actor was holding a gun that could fire in the first place and raises other concerns

By Hanh Nguyen

Senior Editor

Published February 15, 2022 4:17PM (EST)

Alec Baldwin (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)
Alec Baldwin (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

The family of the cinematographer who died after an accidental shooting on the set of the movie "Rust" is seeking justice.

On Tuesday, Halyna Hutchins' family sued actor Alec Baldwin and the "Rust" producers for wrongful death, reports the AP. The lawsuit is filed in New Mexico in the name of Hutchins' husband Matthew and their son, Andros.

In a video recreating the shoooting presented in Los Angeles on Tuesday, lawyers outlined the case against Baldwin, who on Oct. 21 had wielded the gun that shot and killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on the Western film.

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Among the concerns raised were that Baldwin had turned down training for the specific kind of gun draw that he performed when he shot Hutchins. In addition, it's unclear why a real gun was being used in the first place since according to the industry standards cited in the video, that setup – which was to prepare for filming – called for the use of a rubber or similar prop gun.

Baldwin, who was also a producer on the film, claims that Hutchins had asked him to point the gun at her, and it went off on its own.

"I didn't pull the trigger," Baldwin said. "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never." The actor says he hadn't been aware that live rounds were in the gun and has been cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

The accident has prompted other lawsuits as well. The film's script supervisor and its lead camera operator filed lawsuits over the trauma they experienced from standing a few feet away from Hutchins when she was shot. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was named as a defendant in those lawsuits, also fired a lawsuit claiming that an ammunition supplier had included live rounds in a box that was supposed to only have dummy rounds.

Before the shooting, union crew members had raised concerns about safety issues on set, including three accidental discharges of prop guns. The morning of the shooting, several members of the camera crew had resigned due to safety concerns.


By Hanh Nguyen

Hanh Nguyen is the Senior Editor of Culture, which covers TV, movies, books, music, podcasts, art, and more. Her work has also appeared in IndieWire, and The Hollywood Reporter. She co-hosts the "Good Pop Culture Club" podcast, which examines the good pop that gets us through our days, from an Asian American perspective. Follow her at Hanhonymous.

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Alec Baldwin Brief Gun Safety Halyna Hutchins