Alec Baldwin says New Mexico report on fatal ‘Rust’ shooting ‘exonerates’ him in statement through lawyer
Alec Baldwin said he was “grateful” for the New Mexico investigation into the disastrous filming on set during the production of his unfortunate movie “Rust” last fall, saying the state report “acquitted” him.
“We appreciate that the report acquits Mr. Baldwin, making it clear that he believes the gun only contains fake bullets,” Baldwin said in a statement through his lawyer on the day the New Mexico Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health announced that the movie company Rust Movie Productions LLC would be fined a maximum of $ 139,793 for safety failures during the shooting.
Baldwin accidentally shot and killed the director of the film, Halyna Hutchins, on October 21 as she showed him the direction in which the prop should be aimed during rehearsal.
In a previous interview, Baldwin said he did not pull the trigger when the gun fired. Hutchins, 42, died and director Joel Souza was injured when a bullet passed through her shoulder.
Alec Baldwin in a statement through his lawyer said a report released Wednesday by the New Mexico Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health “acquitted” the actor of the fatal shooting last October. (Photo: Rich Polk / Getty Images for IMDb)
‘KIND’ OF ALEC BALDWIN PENALTED BY NEW MEXICO FOR INTENTIONAL FAILURES TO WEAPON SECURITY
Baldwin’s statement said the New Mexico report stated that his powers as a producer of the film “were limited to approving script changes and creative casts. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s violation findings, and we are pleased that New Mexico officials have clarified these critical points.”
The report contained a scathing tale of safety failures in violation of industry standard protocols, including testimony that production managers had taken limited or no action to clear two misfires on the set prior to the fatal shootout. The office also documented complaints from crew members about gun safety, which remained disregarded and gun specialists were unable to make decisions on additional security training.
Bonanza Creek Ranch, where “Rust” was shot, arrives in Santa Fe, NM on October 23, 2021 (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong, File)
“What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious firearms risks to workers and a lack of management response to these obvious threats,” Bob Genoway, head of the safety office, told the Associated Press.
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A new occupational safety report confirms that the large-caliber revolver was handed over to Baldwin by deputy director David Halls without consulting the firearms specialists on set during or after loading the firearm.
Halyna Hutchins attends SAGindie Sundance’s filmmakers’ party at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo: Fred Hayes / Getty Images for SAGindie)
“The Security Coordinator was present on the set and did not take any direct action to address the security issues,” the report reads. “Management was given many opportunities to take corrective action and chose not to. As a result of these setbacks, director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were seriously injured. Halyna Hutchins got injured.”
Stephanie Nolasco of Fox News contributed to this report.