Culture

Alec Baldwin says he is not at fault for fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Alec Baldwin in the men's singles final between Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

On October 21, Alec Baldwin made headlines when a prop gun he was handling fired and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The ‘accidental’ shooting took place on the set of ‘Rust,’ a movie that Alec Baldwin is starring in. Also injured in the event was director Joel Souza, a longtime friend and collaborator of Baldwin. While the police have yet to issue a final report on the incident, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos interviewed Baldwin on Thursday about how the event came to pass. 

Baldwin maintained that it was a complete accident regarding his culpability, and the fault was not his. According to Baldwin, the shooting took place during a marking rehearsal. As part of the rehearsal, Baldwin was moving the firearm through different positions at the instruction of Hutchins when the gun fired. 

“I pulled the hammer as far back as I could without cocking the actual gun. I’m just showing her. ‘How about that? Does that work? Do you see that?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, that’s good.’ I let go of the hammer and bang the gun goes off.”

Alec Baldwin

Baldwin maintains that he never pulled the trigger on the gun when the tragedy took place. Additionally, Baldwin asserts that crew members assured him there was no live ammunition in the gun. 

Who was responsible?

During the ABC interview, Baldwin broke down in tears several times. Baldwin could not attribute accountability when trying to talk through who was responsible. 

“I got countless people online saying, ‘You idiot, you never point a gun at someone.’ Well unless you’re told it’s empty and it’s the director of photography who’s intstructing you on the angle for a shot we’re going to do. And she and I had this thing in common, where we both thought it was empty, and it wasn’t. And that’s not her responsibility and it’s not my responsibility. Who’s responsibility it is remains to be seen.” 

Alec Baldwin

While unable to name who was responsible for the ‘Rust’ shooting, Alec Baldwin maintained that the set had been typical until the shooting took place. As we wait for the police report, knowing who is responsible is difficult to figure out. The armorer onset is 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who also acted as a prop manager on set. Relatively inexperienced, Gutierrez Reed had only worked on one prior movie as an armorer. 

While there isn’t a certainty that Gutierrez Reed is responsible, she is now the target of two civil lawsuits. If the investigation uncovers any unknown details, Alec Baldwin may be the target of criminal allegations. We’ll track any updates that come from the forthcoming police report. 

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