It’s been over a year since actor Alec Baldwin apparently mishandled a prop gun, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, leading to what we now know as the Rust shooting.
It’s been a year filled with questions, recriminations, excuses, and lots of blame-throwing.
Now, we at least have the police report, and it’s not really good news for anyone.
The entire report is 551 pages, detailing the pitfalls of the production that could have led to the event.
According to dolly grip Ross Addiego, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and her crew experienced several “negligent discharges” only a week before Hutchins’s shooting. When Gutierrez-Reed was preparing a number of guns, one of them allegedly discharged by her foot, according to the document, which Deadline reviewed.
Key grip Reese Price, who was notably only 8 feet behind Hutchins in the church, similarly detailed accidental discharges that happened “twice last week all in one day.”
“One of the accidental discharges occurred by ‘armorer girl’ who was messing with a gun. The ‘armorer girl’ had the gun pointed down, when it went off accidentally,” reads the police report. “The second time, one of the stunt actors went to cock the gun and it went off accidentally inside a shack. Reese expressed his concern about accidental discharges occurring on this particular set, which is something that is not supposed to happen.”
A lot of people, including Baldwin, have slung a lot of blame toward Guttierez-Reed. Does this report definitively lay the blame at her feet?
Not quite, though it does suggest that she wasn’t particularly good at the safety part of her job. Multiple negligent discharges–they’re only accidental if they happen because of something other than mishandling, and these don’t sound like it–on a set just doesn’t sound normal. Not when many of us handle guns just as regularly and we do no such thing.
It does suggest that Guttierez-Reed is far from blameless.
However, the report doesn’t exactly absolve Baldwin. Not only was he an executive producer on the film–a role one would assume had sufficient authority to put an end to safety violations–but he was also the A-list star on the film. That last part alone should have given him the authority to put an end to unsafe practices.
Then there’s the fact that he pulled the trigger while the firearm was pointed at Hutchins. Without that, “Rust shooting” would just be news about the filming of a western.
Instead, the Rust shooting is a horribly tragic event that claimed the life of a woman just starting to make a name for herself in the film industry and a year of seeing Hollywood types trip over themselves to throw one another to the wolves.
It would almost be hilarious if someone hadn’t lost their life.
What we do know about the Rust shooting at this point is that it didn’t have to happen. It shouldn’t have happened. Ironically, though, it was at least partially because of someone who has spent years telling us we shouldn’t be able to own guns who illustrated why he shouldn’t own guns.
Nothing in this report seems to absolve anyone of blame, which is bad news when you’re looking at potential prosecutions.
We will have to wait and see how this unfolds, but Hutchins deserves justice. Multiple parties are responsible for this, not just Baldwin, and everyone responsible needs to be held accountable. Anything else just shows Hollywood can get away with anything.