The family of “Rust” cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s star and producer, Alec Baldwin, who allegedly fired the weapon that killed her.
Baldwin and other defendants involved in the shooting are being sued for undisclosed punitive damages for failing “to perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie Rust, with fatal consequences.”
Hutchins’ family attorney, Brian Panish, said his clients are “looking for answers” after the cinematographer’s “reckless” death, which Baldwin claimed he was not responsible for, despite discharging the weapon.
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” he said in a December interview. “I mean, honest to God, if I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible. I don’t say that lightly.”
Panish said that Baldwin “is in denial” about his role in the shooting. “Alec Baldwin is continuing to do what he’s done throughout this — he’s blaming others. He’s not accepting any responsibility. He lays off fault on others when, in fact, but for him shooting the gun, Halyna is still here today.”
To illustrate that point, at a Tuesday press conference, Panish showed an almost 10-minute video reenactment of Baldwin firing the gun and the bullet traveling through Hutchins’ ribcage and striking director Joel Souza in the clavicle.
The video highlighted at least 15 film industry gun standards that were disregarded on the low-budget movie’s set, and pointed out that Baldwin refused weapons training prior to handling the gun.
“I think it’s clear what happened,” Panish said. “He had the gun, he says he pulled the hammer back, it fired, and she was killed … The experts will look at it and make any determinations, but we don’t think this was caused by any defect in the weapon.”
Baldwin responded on Tuesday night with a 24-second video post on Instagram of a light installation that reads: “Everything is going to be alright.”