A month after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the New Mexico set of Rust by a prop gun “discharged” by Alec Baldwin, those closest to the cinematographer are holding a private ceremony to say a final goodbye.
With only family and close friends in attendance, Hutchins’ ashes will be interred this weekend at an undisclosed location.
“Halyna was the love of my life, and our loss of her has devastated our family’s dreams,” the 42-year old DoP’s husband Matthew Hutchins said Friday in a statement provided to Deadline, along with a photo of the grave marker.
“We feel the silence of her being forever gone as a suffocating stillness in our home,” the Lathan & Watkins corporate attorney added of himself and their 9-year old son Andros. “Our love and adoration for her grows as we tell her story, and we hope her work can inspire filmmakers and storytellers around the world. We thank the many generous supporters who have been so thoughtful in our time of loss.”
As the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office’s investigation on the October 21 fatal shooting continues, the interment comes about three weeks after Matthew Hutchins hired lawyers Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi to represent him and the family in any future legal action. To give an indication as to the form that potential legal action may take, it is worth noting that the LA-based firm specializes in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.
Already Rust gaffer Serge Svetnoy, and most recently this week, script supervisor Mamie Mitchell have instituted lawsuits against star/producer Baldwin, the low budget Western’s producers and production companies, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, first assistant director David Halls, property master Sarah Zachry and others.
While no one has been arrested or charged yet with Hutchins’ death or the injuring of director Joel Souza by police, many more lawsuits are expected in the coming weeks.
Baldwin, Gutierrez Reed, Halls, Souza and others have been repeatedly questioned by police in the hours and days following the shooting. Damningly, a series of search warrants executed by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office have found a cache of weapons and, according to Sheriff Adan Mendoza, “500 rounds of ammunition … a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”
Halls admitted to police not long after the shooting that he did not properly check the 1880s-era gun before declaring it a “cold gun” and handing it over to Baldwin for the fatal “quick draw” rehearsal. Further focusing matters, Gutierrez Reed, Mitchell and others have described at least two previous unintended discharges of weapons on the set before the October 21 shooting.
Both Halls, who was fired from a previous film over gun safety issues, and Gutierrez Reed have retained counsel, as did Mitchell with high profile attorney Gloria Allred.
The armorer’s lawyer has been postulating a “sabotage” theory in media appearances and press releases to explain the tragedy that took Hutchins’ life last month. The whole premise of that theory, which the local D.A. has vocally rejected for lack of evidence, hangs on the notion that something or someone took some sort of revenge. Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys have repeatedly pointed to the fact that just hours before the killing of Hutchins, several members of that camera crew resigned from Rust, citing safety and financial reasons.
As the cops and OSHA keep looking into what actually happened at the Bonanza Creek Ranch location, the production itself has hired law firm Jenner Block to conduct an internal investigation into the events of that day.
Even as whispers of more lawyers being retained by the producers as the suits piled up circulate, the internal investigation remains ongoing, we hear.