Actor Alec Baldwin has spoken out about the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust.
Baldwin’s comments were made public on the 30th of October via video footage from Backgrid and TMZ. The 30 Rock star has been living in Vermont with his family while the investigation unfolds.
“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Baldwin said to the paparazzi as quoted by Us Weekly.
“I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe, I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t – it’s an active investigation in terms of a woman died. She was my friend.”
Baldwin explained he took Hutchins and the film’s director, Joel Souza (who was also injured in the shooting), to dinner the day they started filming.
“We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened,” Baldwin said before describing the shocking incident as “a one-in-a-trillion event”.
I understand why people are upset with #AlecBaldwin, he has had a lot to say over the years, but..
..a little boy lost his mom & a man lost his love. That Dad had to tell his son mommy isn’t coming home, gut wrenching. For that, I can’t bring myself to make nasty comments.
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) October 28, 2021
Additionally, Baldwin confirmed that he has been in contact with Hutchins’ family. Understandably, her husband and nine-year-old son are devastated.
“[Hutchins’ husband] is in shock [and] has a … son. We are in constant contact with him. We’re very worried about his family and his kid, and as I said we’re eagerly awaiting for the sheriff’s department telling us what their investigation has yielded.”
When asked if he would consider working on another film that uses guns, Baldwin stated that “he couldn’t answer that question”. However, he revealed he’s very interested in campaigning to “limit the use of firearms on film sets”. Baldwin also believes production on the Western film will not resume any time soon.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that 500 rounds of ammunition were found on set. It’s believed the rounds are “a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and suspected live rounds”.
Investigators are examining the lead projectile that buried itself into Souza’s shoulder to see if it was fired from the long Colt revolver used by Baldwin at the time of the shooting.
The situation has raised concerns about the film’s working conditions. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, an armourer for the film, has gone on record to state that she has “no idea where live rounds came from”. According to Gutierrez-Reed, her job was difficult because the producers hired her for two positions.
“She fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings,” Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers said in a statement.
The lack of safety precautions was also highlighted when the film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, revealed he didn’t check every gun barrel before passing the weapon to Baldwin for rehearsals.
“He [Hall] advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t,” reads an interview statement released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.