Alec Baldwin Sues To 'Clear His Name' In 'Rust' Shooting

LOS ANGELES — Saying he wants to clear his name, Alec Baldwin on Friday sued people involved in the handling and delivery of the loaded gun he used when he shot and killed cameraman Halina Hutchins during a 2021 photo shoot incident .in New Mexico.

Baldwin submitted a counter complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on allegations of negligence against some of the people sued by the script’s supervisor, Mamie Mitchell. Among other things, he is seeking a share of any damages Mitchell may win from the people named by Baldwin and wants them to pay for any damages assessed against him.

Mitchell was behind Hutchins, who died shortly after being injured while preparing for a scene in the western movie “Rust” at a ranch for the set outside Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021.

Mitchell is suing Baldwin, who produced the film, the production company and many others involved for assault and negligence.

In his counter-complaint, Baldwin says that while he was working on camera angles with Hutchins during a scene rehearsal, he pointed the gun in her direction and pulled back and released the gun’s trigger, which discharged.

The shot fatally wounded Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza in the shoulder.

The actor said neither he nor Hutchins knew the weapon contained ammunition.

“This tragedy occurred on a film set – not on a firing range, not on a battlefield, not in a place where there should be even a remote possibility that the weapon contained live ammunition,” the lawsuit says.

Baldwin claims he was told the gun was safe and that he did not pull the trigger. But a recent FBI forensic report found that the weapon could not have fired unless the trigger had been pulled.

“More than anyone else on the set, Baldwin has been wrongfully blamed for this tragedy. With these counterclaims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name,” the actor’s lawsuit says.

Baldwin’s counter-complaint said he lost opportunities and was fired from his job because of the shooting and also “suffered physically and emotionally from the grief caused by these events.”

The New Mexico Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the shooting an accident. However, prosecutors are reviewing the shooting to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

In April, the New Mexico Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health levied the maximum fine of $137,000 against Rust Movie Productions and released a scathing account of safety lapses, including testimony that production managers took little or no action to address two blank firings on set before the fatal shooting.

The company is contesting the fine.

Baldwin’s lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reid; props maker Sarah Zachry; first assistant director and safety coordinator David Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun; ammunition supplier Seth Kenny and his company PDQ Arm & Prop, which also supplied prop arms for the production.

All had earlier denied responsibility for the fatal shooting.

In October, the Hutchins family announced they had agreed to settle another lawsuit against the actor and the film’s producers, and the producers said they aimed to restart the project in January.

A lawyer for Ms. Gutierrez-Reid, Jason Bowles, said he was looking into Baldwin’s case. Lawyers for other defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment, The New York Times reported.

A phone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Bowles was not immediately returned Friday evening.

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