Actor Alec Baldwin is suing multiple crew members of the film “Rust” over the circumstances that led to him firing a loaded gun on set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, CNN reports.
In a civil cross-complaint filed Friday, Baldwin alleges that several of the crew members were negligent and failed to ensure safety on the set.
Defendants named in the suit include Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer who was allegedly responsible for the safe handling of weapons; David Halls, the first assistant director who reportedly declared the gun safe before providing it to Baldwin; Sarah Zachry, chief of the props department; Seth Kenney, the supplier of the guns used on the set; and Kenney’s firm, PDQ Arm and Prop.
The defendants have previously denied responsibility for the shooting death, the Associated Press reports.
“These Cross Defendants are professionals who owed a duty to those on set, including Baldwin, to keep the set safe. Everyone on set, including Baldwin, expected and trusted them to do so,” the complaint states, according to CNN.
“Hutchins never would have instructed Baldwin to point the gun in her direction and pull back the hammer if she thought the slightest possibility existed that it was loaded; Baldwin, who shared the same state of mind as Hutchins in that critical moment, wouldn’t have done so under such conditions.”
“More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy. By these Cross-Claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold Cross-Defendants accountable for their misconduct,” the lawsuit adds.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, requests a jury trial and seeks “compensatory, nominal, statutory, and punitive damages” among other relief, according to CNN.
The legal action follows a lawsuit that script supervisor Mamie Mitchell brought against Baldwin last year, which accuses the actor of intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and negligence. Mitchell was standing next to Hutchins at the time of the shooting.
Last week, a judge declined Baldwin’s request to dismiss Mitchell’s suit.
The shooting occurred on October 21, 2021, at a film set on a ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
While Baldwin was practicing a cross-draw for a scene using a replica Pietta Colt .45, the weapon discharged and a bullet struck the 45-year-old Hutchins. The film’s director, 49-year-old Joel Souza, was also hit but he survived.
“There can be no doubt that others have suffered from Cross-Defendants’ negligence far more than Baldwin has,” the lawsuit states, according to USA TODAY. “Hutchins lost her life, and her young child lost his mother. Producer Joel Souza was shot in the shoulder and has suffered physical and emotional pain.
“Though by no means comparable, Baldwin must live with the immense grief, and the resulting emotional, physical, and financial toll, caused by the fact that Cross-Defendants’ negligent conduct, assurances, and supervision put a loaded weapon in his hand and led him, Hutchins, and everyone else on set to believe that his directed use of the weapon was safe.”
Baldwin has said that he did not pull the trigger and the gun fired accidentally. An FBI instigation determined that the gun could not have fired without pulling the trigger.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office finished its investigation into the shooting last month. Baldwin is waiting to learn whether local prosecutors will issue criminal charges in connection with the shooting.
In October, Baldwin settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Hutchins’ family, USA TODAY reports.
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[Featured image: FILE- In this Sept. 21, 2015 file photo, actor Alec Baldwin attends a news conference at United Nations headquarters. A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring and producing a Western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 at the movie set outside Santa Fe, N.M., the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)]