The battle to determine exactly who was legally responsible for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust in October 2021 has escalated again. Was it primarily the fault of Alec Baldwin holding the gun? Or was the film’s gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed to blame for not properly ensuring the gun was unloaded and safe to use on set?
Contrary to Baldwin’s claim in a December 2021 interview with George Stephanopoulos, an FBI forensic analysis found that, according to the forensic report obtained by ABC News, the gun could not have been fired without someone first pulling the trigger. Baldwin had claimed that he never pulled the gun’s trigger at all, and that the gun itself was faulty. In response to the FBI report, Gutierrez Reed’s attorney had some strong words for Baldwin and his claim of complete innocence.
The Rust gunsmith’s attorney says she’s become a “scapegoat.”
According to Entertainment Tonight, while Alec Baldwin’s attorney said in a statement that the FBI report was “misunderstood,” gunsmith attorney Hannah Gutierrez Reed argued that the report “directly contradicts” Baldwin’s claims. “The gun fired only once in testing — without having to pull the trigger — when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two separate places,” Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in a statement.
However, Gutierrez Reed’s attorney had a very different opinion, saying in a statement, “The newly released FBI reports indicate that the revolver was in good condition and that Baldwin should have pulled the trigger to fire the revolver.” The statement went on and defended Gutierrez Reed. “This new filing reveals attempts from the outset by various members of the production team to shirk responsibility and make Hannah, a 24-year-old gunsmith, the scapegoat for this tragedy.” , Baldwin herself ignored her requests for specific workouts.
In addition to his potential criminal liability, Baldwin also faces several other court cases related to the death by shooting. These include a lawsuit filed by “Rust” screenwriter Mamie Mitchell, who, according to Deadline, alleges gross negligence on the part of Baldwin and other producers.