Last month, the Hollywood star Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust. Now, a chilling development has come in about this case that could be a game changer.
Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician on the film set, has filed a lawsuit against Baldwin as well as against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director David Halls, and others. Court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight show that Svetnoy is claiming that the defendants’ alleged negligence caused him severe emotional distress in the aftermath of the incident, which led to Hutchins’ death and to director Joel Souza being injured.
Svetnoy’s most damning claim of all is that the scene “did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver.” This means that there may have been no reason for Baldwin to fire the shot that ended someone’s life.
Svetnoy alleges that the bullet that hit both Hutchins and Souza nearly struck him too, adding that he was the person who tried to comfort the cinematographer and keep her conscious after she was hit.
“The bullet narrowly missed him before striking the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and its director, Joel Souza. Plaintiff suffered injury, including severe emotional distress, as a direct and proximate result of this incident,” state the court documents.
Svetnoy explained that he included Baldwin in the suit because the star “owed a duty to the Plaintiff and other crew members and actors on the Rust set to handle the Colt Revolver provided to him by defendant Halls with reasonable care and diligence for the safety of Rust cast and crew.”
“This duty called for Defendant Baldwin to double-check the Colt Revolver with Halls upon being handled to ensure that it did not contain live ammunition,” the documents stated. “This duty further called for him [Baldwin] to handle the Colt Revolver as if it was loaded and to refrain from pointing it at anyone.”
As for the production side of the situation, Svetnoy alleges that Baldwin and other producers “attempted to save money by hiring an insufficient number of crew members to safely handle the props and firearms,” going on to claim that they declined requests for weapons training days, failed to allow proper time to allow for gunfire, failed to send out safety bulletins and spread the staff too thin.
Svetnoy, who had been friends with Hutchins for five years, said that this “traumatic” event is one he “might never be able to get over.” He had said last month that he was “standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life.”
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“I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,” Svetnoy wrote. “I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it. It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.”
Baldwin recently claimed to the paparazzi that Hutchins was his “friend.”
“The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting I took her to dinner with Joel, the director. We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together, and then this horrible event happened,” he said. “… There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one-in-a-trillion episode. It’s a one-in-a-trillion event.”
Law enforcement is still investigating this shooting, and it remains to be seen if anyone will be charged.