Home News Alec Baldwin Sues ‘Rust’ Team for Putting Loaded Gun in His Hands
Now Alec Baldwin himself, seen here in Rome on April 3, 2022, is suing the the team behind "Rust." (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

Alec Baldwin Sues ‘Rust’ Team for Putting Loaded Gun in His Hands

Baldwin said in a lawsuit filed in L.A. Friday that he will clear his name once and for all in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin is suing members of the production team behind the Western Rust, claiming they were negligent in putting the loaded Colt .45 in his hands before he accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set while practicing his cross-draw in October 2021, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday.

Baldwin joins a list of people who have filed suit over the tragedy. Others include Hutchins’ husband and son, who sued Baldwin and his fellow Rust producers in February, gaffer Serge Svetnoy, who filed a complaint of general negligence against Baldwin and others associated with the movie, and script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who filed a similar suit against Baldwin et al. in L.A. Superior Court last November.

Baldwin’s complaint comes in response to Mitchell’s lawsuit and states that the actor “seeks to clear his name,” the Washington Post reports.

To that end, Baldwin’s cross-complaint names many of the same Rust associates as the Svetnoy and Mitchell suits: armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, responsible for on-set guns and ammo; first assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and said it was safe; property master Sarah Zachry, and armorer mentor Seth Kenney.

Mitchell and Svetnoy were both with Hutchins when she died, and both accuse the Rust members of causing them emotional distress through their alleged negligence. Baldwin’s counterclaim states that it is intended not only to finally exonerate him—although he already proclaimed himself exonerated in April—but also to hold the defendants “accountable for their misconduct.”

Baldwin lawyer Luke Nikas wrote in Friday’s filing, “This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her.”

Baldwin was in a church on the Santa Fe set practicing cross-draws and quick-draws with the Colt .45 believing it was “cold,” meaning unloaded, when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin told ABC News in January that he “didn’t pull the trigger,” but only pulled back the hammer. He then said in an arbitration demand in March that it was Hutchins who directed him to do so.

That arbitration demand, wherein Baldwin claimed his contract excused him from liability, also included comments allegedly made by Mitchell immediately after the shooting as evidence of Baldwin’s clean hands.

“You realize you’re not responsible for any of what happened in there, don’t you?” Mitchell is quoted as saying.

Although, as the Washington Post notes, an FBI report suggested that the gun could not have fired without its trigger having been pulled, some firearms experts would strongly disagree, insisting that an 1870s-era, single-action revolver such as the .45-caliber Long Colt F.lli Pietta that killed Hutchins can be discharged simply by letting go of the hammer after it has been cocked, or even with a sharp, accidental jolt.

While the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office delivered its investigative report to prosecutors in October, those findings have not been made public. No criminal charges have been filed.

Baldwin reached a settlement with the Hutchins family in early October. Reports soon followed that production on Rust is set to begin again in January, this time in California.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.