DA Looking Into Rust Shooting Dismisses Claims Of Sabotage

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The shooting on the set of the film Rust has easily been one of the biggest gun-related stories of the year. Yes, we have a Supreme Court case that was heard, but it’s not every day that an outspoken anti-gunner shoots someone on the set of a movie.

Unsurprisingly, the authorities have been looking into just what happened, and it sounds like they’re getting close to uncovering just what all transpired to allow the fatal shooting to happen.

The district attorney probing the “Rust” film set shooting says she knows who loaded the gun Alec Baldwin used to accidentally shoot dead cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Santa Fe DA Mary Carmack-Altwies declined to name the person in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, as she weighs whether to bring criminal charges over the Oct. 21 fatal shooting.

Asked if she was aware who loaded the fatal live round, Carmack-Altwies said: “We do, yes.”

Carmack-Altwies said she wasn’t sure how the rounds made it onto the set, stating that was something the investigation was still looking into. She wouldn’t say how many live rounds were found, either, citing the ongoing probe.

However, she did address claims made by the set’s armorer who claimed sabotage.

Carmack-Altwies dismissed claims made last week by attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who alleged the shooting was the result of a “disgruntled” crew member “sabotaging” the set.

Attorney Jason Bowles had told the “Today” show that the gun was loaded from a box of ammo that should have been only dummy rounds.

But the DA said Wednesday she didn’t believe sabotage was to blame.

“I know that some defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and have used the word ‘sabotage.’ We do not have any proof,” Carmack-Altwies said.

Of course, not having proof isn’t the same thing as saying it didn’t happen, but if it did, one would expect there to be some kind of evidence.

As of right now, though, there isn’t.

It seems that while the criminal investigation is getting a lot of attention surrounding the set of Rust, it’s not the only legal issue the film is facing.

Not by a longshot.

The head of lighting on the film “Rust” filed a lawsuit Wednesday over Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western, alleging negligence that caused him “severe emotional distress” that will haunt him forever.

Serge Svetnoy said in the suit that the bullet that killed his close friend Hutchins, narrowly missed him, and he held her head as she died.

“They should never, ever, have had live rounds on this set,” Svetnoy’s attorney Gary A. Dordick said at a news conference Wednesday.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court names nearly two dozen defendants associated with the film including Baldwin, who was both star and a producer; David Halls, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun; and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of weapons on the set.

It is the first known lawsuit of what could be many stemming from the Oct. 21 shooting, which also injured “Rust” director Joel Souza.

Honestly, I’m not surprised by this. We live in a litigious society, after all, so you had to know lawsuits were coming. I’m mostly just surprised it hasn’t come from Hutchins’ family but from a friend and co-worker.

Yet, on the same token, Svetnoy may actually have grounds for damages. Not everyone can see something like this happen, particularly to a close friend, and then soldier on like nothing ever happened. As someone working in the movie industry, the trauma from this may well keep him from accepting certain jobs in the future, which means it could potentially impact his ability to make a living.

Or he could just be trying to cash in. I mean, it’s not like I know the guy.

Either way, as things proceed, we’re going to see a lot of legal drama unfold surrounding the set of Rust. That’s probably a big reason why Alec Baldwin needs to keep his mouth shut.