This morning Hutchins estate attorney Brian Panish put blame on Rust producers and Baldwin for their negligence with safety during production of the Western that led to Hutchins being shot and killed by a prop gun discharged by the Oscar-nominated actor, an incident that also saw the pic’s director Joel Souza injured. Using an animated video to reconstruct the alleged incidents that occurred, Panish showed Baldwin cross-drawing and firing the gun straight at crew during a “line-up”.
“Everyone’s hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna’s family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy,” said Baldwin and Rust attorneys Aaron Dyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, “We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the Rust set in the first place.”
To date, the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Department hasn’t made any charges in the Rust tragic incident which occurred on Oct. 21, 2021.
“He (Baldwin), Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise,” the statement continued from team Rust.
“This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone,” concluded team Rust‘s remarks, “Actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use.”
Attorneys for the Hutchins’ estate argued that armorer Hannah Reed-Gutierrez wasn’t onsite in the church when Hutchins was shot, and that assistant director Dave Halls wasn’t qualified in weapon safety. In addition, they argue that Baldwin refused weapons training, and should have used a rubber prop gun. Additionally, there should have been protective glass in front of the crew, who were four feet away from Baldwin, or they should have been wearing protective gear, Panish argued this AM during a press conference.
“Defendant Baldwin, the Producers, and the Rust Production Companies were aware of firearms safety issues that had occurred on the set of Rust and did not take action to correct the situation and ensure that basic gun safety rules were followed on October 21, 2021,” the suit this morning from the Hutchins’ estate said. “Had Defendant Baldwin, the Producers, and the Rust Production Companies taken adequate precautions to ensure firearm safety on the set of Rust or if basic firearm safety rules had been followed on the set of Rust on October 21, 2021, Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and nine-year old son.”
Interwoven in the animated video that was shown by Hutchins’ family attorneys this morning were notes from crew members indicating tension on the set over the alleged misappropriation of safety. Prior to Hutchins’ death and Souza’s injury there were already two accidental weapon discharges and an explosive that went off between takes, per research amassed by Panish.
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