What’s Going On With the ‘Rust’ Shooting?


Photo courtesy of Velizar Ivanov at Unsplash.com

Nicole Selzer, Staff Writer

On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin fired a gun on the set of ‘Rust,’ fatally shooting cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director, Joel Souza. Since it first occurred, more information regarding the details of the shooting have been revealed and legal action against Baldwin has been taken. 

Authorities gathered information from different sources to create a timeline of the accident. A few hours before the shooting, many of the camera crew members quit after not receiving assurance of proper safety precautions being taken on the set. New crew members were hired the same morning and filming continued in a rushed manner 

Moments before the shooting, the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, opened the revolver that would be given to Baldwin and spun it so that assistant director, David Hall, could see the contents. David Hall told authorities that he remembered seeing three rounds inside the gun. Hall gave the okay that the gun was safe shouting: “Cold gun!” Following the accident, Hall checked the gun again, noticing that there were actually four dummy rounds inside and one live round.

Due to negligence when placing the bullets into the gun, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and David Hall were sued. Additionally, Baldwin was sued because crew and staff members believed that he had no reason to fire the gun, even if he didn’t know about the live round within it. People on set, such as Mamie Mitchell and Serge Svetnoy, suggested that those involved did not perform their jobs correctly and disregarded proper safety measures, not only killing and injuring two staff members, but also inflicting emotional trauma to all those who witnessed the scene.

On the other side, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers suggested that it was a setup considering the fact that the live and dummy rounds were mixed together in the gun.The box of rounds that was actually used for the revolver in question contained all dummy rounds. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys are suggesting that one of the crew members that had walked off the set earlier that day snuck the live round into this box to prove that the set was unsafe. While these allegations have not been proven true, it shows that those being sued won’t go down without a fight.

So far, the repercussions of the shooting include an increase in the debate over whether live guns should be used on set. This has also boosted advocacy for proper crew safety measures on movie sets. The outcome of the lawsuits remains to be seen.