As law enforcement continues to investigate last year’s fatal shooting on the set of ‘Rust,’ Alec Baldwin has squarely blamed the film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and assistant director Dave Halls.
“There are two people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” the actor said in an interview with CNN released on Friday. “I’m not sitting here saying I want them, you know, to go to jail, or I want their life to be hell. I don’t want that, but I want everyone to know that it’s the two people who are responsible for what happened.
“I’m pretty confident that neither of them should ever work on a film set again,” he told CNN.
Baldwin was holding a prop gun on the set of the Western film, which was filming on a ranch in New Mexico, when the gun exploded and struck cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. She was airlifted to hospital but died of her injuries. The ball also grazed “Rust” director Joel Souza.
Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed and Halls pushed back against the suggestion that their clients bore the greater responsibility. As a gunsmith, Gutierrez-Reed – a 24-year-old just starting out in the business at the time – was responsible for maintaining the propeller guns used on set and showing people how to handle them. Halls, an industry veteran, was the person who handed Baldwin the antique gun to practice a scene and told him it was safe.
The weapon was supposed to hold blanks only, but a live round was also loaded into the barrel. One of the biggest questions is who was responsible for the confusion.
A full report from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is still in preparation; Authorities said last week they were simply working to obtain Baldwin’s cellphone records before they were completed. Local prosecutors are supposed to use the report to determine whether or not to pursue criminal charges. In the meantime, the people closest to the incident got a lawyer and pointed their finger at each other.
Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this year that names Baldwin, among others. The couple had a young son together.
While Baldwin denies pulling the trigger, the FBI recently concluded that the gun could not have fired without him pulling it.
Through his attorney, Gutierrez-Reed criticized the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office for not asking the FBI to test any of the bullets for fingerprints or DNA, but authorities said that didn’t happen. wouldn’t make sense due to the number of times the props would likely have been handled. by people on set.
Baldwin told CNN he has lost five jobs since the incident in late October. He said he would have left the film industry altogether if it hadn’t been for the support of his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, who is pregnant with the couple’s seventh child.
“If I hadn’t had it, I probably would have quit, retired, I would have left, you know, I would have sold everything I owned, I would have had a house in the middle of nowhere and you know, I would have found something else to do, selling real estate,” he said.
The actor went so far as to hire a private detective to try to figure out what was wrong. He said that from what the investigator told him, he did not believe anyone would be criminally charged.
Still, the incident “took years” out of Baldwin’s life, he said, adding that he thinks about Hutchins’ death “every day”.