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Gaffer Sues Alec Baldwin, Armorer, Producers For Negligence In “Rust” Set Killing

The gaffer on “Rust” felt a whoosh of air and heard the loudest shot he had ever heard on set, and then watched helplessly as his friend Halyna Hutchins faded away in his arms, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.


Serge Sventnoy provided a detailed, first-hand account of the Oct. 21 shooting in a negligence suit against several defendants, including “Rust” star Alec Baldwin, the film’s producers, the armorer and first assistant director. He alleges that he suffered injury when the bullet narrowly missed him, as well as “severe emotional distress.”


The suit is the first to be filed in connection with the tragedy, in which Baldwin fired a Colt .45 containing a live round while setting up for a shot at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M. Hutchins, the cinematographer, was airlifted to a hospital, where she died. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also struck in the shoulder.


The gaffer on felt a whoosh of air and heard the loudest shot he had ever heard on set, and then watched helplessly as his friend Halyns Hutchins faded away in his arms, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.


Serge provided a detailed, first-hand account of the Oct. 21 shooting in a negligence suit against several defendants, including “Rust” star Alec Badlwin, the film’s producers, the armorer and first assistant director. He alleges that he suffered injury when the bullet narrowly missed him, as well as “severe emotional distress.”


The suit is the first to be filed in connection with the tragedy, in which Baldwin fired a Colt .45 containing a live round while setting up for a shot at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M. Hutchins, the cinematographer, was airlifted to a hospital, where she died. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also struck in the shoulder.


“The next 20-30 minutes felt like the longest of Plaintiff’s life as he tried to aid and comfort Ms. Hutchins, watching helplessly as her consciousness faded inexorably away,” the suit states.


After the paramedics arrived, he reflected that the bullet must have passed mere inches from him. “Overcome by emotion, shock, grief, trauma, and anxiety, he broke down and wept,” the suit states.


The suit accuses several people of failing to properly inspect the gun to make sure it did not contain live rounds, including Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and first assistant director Dave Halls. It also accuses the film’s producers of failing to hire enough competent crew to maintain a safe set.


The suit alleges that the defendants “wholly failed to perform their responsibilities and violated the most basic of industry standards governing the use and maintenance of firearms and ammunition. Their conduct proximately caused plaintiff’s injuries.”

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