(AP) — The family of a cinematographer shot and killed on the set of the film “Rust” sued Alec Baldwin and the movie’s producers Tuesday alleging their “callous” disregard in the face of safety complaints led directly to her death.
At a news conference announcing the lawsuit, attorneys for the husband and 9-year-old son of Halyna Hutchins said that Baldwin refused training for the type of “cross-draw” he was performing when he fired the shot that killed her.
Baldwin’s attorney responded that any claim the actor was reckless is “entirely false.”
The suit filed in New Mexico’s Santa Fe County in the name of Matthew and Andros Hutchins shows a text message exchange between a camera operator and a producer in which a complaint over gun safety was met with what the suit calls “callous sarcasm.”
The operator, Lane Luper, texted unit production manager Katherine Walters saying: “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe.”
Walters responds: “Accidental discharge on the firearm? Awesome. Sounds good.”
At least four other lawsuits have been filed over the shooting, but this is the first directly tied to one of the two people shot.
The defendants’ “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures led to the death of Halyna Hutchins,” attorney Brian Panish said.
Had proper protocols been followed, the suit says, “Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and 9-year-old son. ”
Baldwin, who was also a producer on the film, was pointing a gun at Hutchins inside a small church during the setup for the filming of a scene for the Western in New Mexico on October 21 when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.
Baldwin has said he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction and it went off without him pulling the trigger.
The suit says industry standards call for using a rubber or similar prop gun during the setup, and there was no call for a real gun.
It also says that both Baldwin and assistant director David Halls, who handed him the gun, should have checked the revolver for live bullets.
The suit also names as defendants Halls, Walters, the film’s armorer Hannah Guttierez Reed, and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.
Last month Baldwin turned over his cellphone to investigators, and Dyer said he continues to cooperate fully with the investigation.
Authorities have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the “Rust” set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed.
Baldwin said he does not believe he will be criminally charged in the shooting.