Alec Baldwin Rust shooting: Halyna Hutchins died after company's 'failure' to follow safety rules

  • The first report into the shooting on the set of the movie Rust begins to explain what went so terribly wrong, ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports

A report into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of movie Rust has found the production company “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set" with the maximum fine possible issued.

Alec Baldwin was pointing a gun at Ms Hutchins during the set-up of a scene for the western at a ranch in New Mexico on 21 October when it went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

The actor was one of the film's producers, alongside Baldwin's leading role.

The actor was pictured on set after the shooting. Credit: AP

New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said Rust Movie Productions must pay $139,793, (£104,810), the maximum allowed by state law, after the production company "demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety."

Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said the investigation found the "tragic incident never would have happened" if the production company had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety.

“This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognised national protocols that keep employees safe," he added.

ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore says the report does not clarify whether Alec Baldwin or any other member of the film crew will ever face criminal charges

The report gave a highly critical narrative of the company's violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting. 

The report is the outcome of a six-month investigation by the environment department, and concludes that the company showed “plain indifference to the recognised hazards associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in a fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions."

Halyna Hutchins Credit: @halynahutchins/Instagram

The guidelines Rust Movie Productions reportedly failed to follow require live ammunition never to be used or brought onto any studio lot or stage, and that safety meetings take place every day when firearms are being handled.

They also require that employees “refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone” except after consultation with senior figures such as the armorer.

“By failing to follow these practices, an avoidable loss of life occurred," the report says.

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Baldwin is currently fighting a number of lawsuits stemming from the incident, with cases being brought by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, head of lighting Serge Svetnoy and Ms Hutchins’ family.

The actor broke down in tears in his first interview since Ms Hutchins' death in December, as he said he cocked the gun that killed the cinematographer but "didn’t pull the trigger."

He told Good Morning America he was dreaming about the incident “constantly," adding: “I couldn’t give a shit about my career anymore.”

In that interview, Baldwin said of Hutchins: “She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with her, liked by everyone she worked with and admired."

The bureau said the investigation involved 1,560 hours of staff time, 14 interviews and a review of 566 documents.