'Rust' Crew: Alec Baldwin Went Off-Script to Pull Trigger, Played 'Russian Roulette'
Crew member files lawsuit claiming script never called for gun to be fired
A crew member working on the set of "Rust" has filed a lawsuit against the movie's producers and star Alec Baldwin alleging that the Hollywood actor went off-script when he pulled the trigger during the fatal shooting.
Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell said in court documents filed Wednesday that the script never called for a gun to be fired during a scene that Baldwin was rehearsing when he killed a cinematographer last month.
Mitchell was the first person to call 911 after Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on the film's set.
She broke down in tears during a press conference as she announced the lawsuit against Baldwin and other producers of the low-budget Western movie.
The suit names 22 defendants associated with the film including Baldwin, Rust producers, six production companies - El Dorado Pictures, Thomasville Pictures, Short Porch Pictures, Brittany House Pictures, 3rd Shift Media and Streamline Global - armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, First Assistant Director David Halls, and others.
Mitchell was standing close to Hutchins when the bullet fired from Baldwin's gun killed her and then injured the director, Joel Souza.
The suit claims assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm.
It also states that the scene being shot did not require a gun to be fired.
"I ran out and called 911 and said 'Bring everybody, send everybody,'" Mitchell said during a press conference.
"This woman is gone at the beginning of her career.
"She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman."
Mitchell said she was standing less than four feet away from Hutchins when she was shot and was hit by residue from that bullet.
"I will never forget what happened on the set of Rust that day," she said.
"I relive the shooting and the sound of the explosion from the gun over and over again."
Mitchell said she was left depressed and "frightened of the future."
"This violent tragedy has taken away the joy in my life," she added.
She said she wants to prevent what happened on the set from happening to anyone else.
“I relive the shooting and the sound of the explosion from the gun over and over again,” said Mitchell, who made the emergency call to authorities immediately after the October 21 incident.
Mitchell alleges Baldwin should have checked the gun himself for live ammunition rather than relying on the assistant director’s assertion that the Colt .45 revolver was safe to use.
“In our opinion, Mr. Baldwin chose to play Russian Roulette when he fired a gun without checking it and without having the armorer do so in his presence,” Mitchell’s attorney Gloria Allred told a news conference.
The lawsuit said the “Rust” script called for three tight camera shots for the scene – one of Baldwin’s eyes, another of a bloodstain, and a third on Baldwin’s torso “as he reached his hand down to the holster and removed the gun.”
Baldwin “intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm,” the lawsuit asserts.
Allred said she believed Baldwin’s behavior on the set was “reckless” and alleged that other safety protocols had been flouted or ignored.
The lawsuit, the second to be lodged over the incident, names Baldwin, the movie’s producers, assistant director Dave Halls and Hannah Gutierrez, the armorer who was in charge of the weapons used in the movie.
Authorities in New Mexico have said they are investigating how a live bullet ended up in a gun Baldwin was using as he rehearsed a scene inside a church on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
No criminal charges have been filed.
Other live rounds have also been found on the set.
Last week, chief electrician Serge Svetnoy filed a negligence lawsuit against the producers.