Alec Baldwin says New Mexico report on fatal ‘Rust’ shooting ‘exonerates’ him in statement through lawyer

Alec Baldwin says New Mexico report on fatal 'Rust' shooting 'exonerates' him in statement through lawyer thumbnail

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Alec Baldwin said he was “grateful” for New Mexico‘s investigation into the fatal on-set shooting during the production of his ill-fated film “Rust” last fall, claiming that the state’s report “exonerates” him.

“We appreciate the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds,” Baldwin said in a statement through his attorney on the day New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau announced that the film’s production company Rust Movie Productions LLC would be fined the maximum $139,793 for safety failures while shooting.

Baldwin accidentally shot and killed the movie’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, on October 21 while she was showing him in what direction to point a prop gun during a rehearsal. In an earlier interview, Baldwin stated that he hadn’t pulled trigger when the gun went off. Hutchins, 42, died and director Joel Souza was wounded when the bullet passed through her into his shoulder.

Alec Baldwin in a statement through his attorney said a report released by New Mexico's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau on Wednesday

Alec Baldwin, through his attorney, stated that a report released Wednesday by New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau “exonerates” him over the October shootings that resulted in the actor’s death.
(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

ALEC BALDWIN’S ‘RUST’ FINED BY NEW MEXICO FOR WILLFUL GUN SAFETY FAILURES

Baldwin’s statement went on to say New Mexico’s report specified that his power as a producer on the film was “limited to approving script changes and creative casting. We are happy that New Mexico officials have clarified the critical issues. Mr. Baldwin did not have any authority over the matters that were the subject to the Bureau’s violations findings.

The report detailed a series of safety failures that violated industry protocols. It also included testimony that production managers did not take any action to correct two misfires at the set before the fatal shooting. The bureau also noted gun safety complaints from crew members which were ignored and stated that weapons specialists were not permitted to make safety training decisions.

The Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the film

The Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the film “Rust” was being filmed, appears in Santa Fe, N.M. on Oct. 23, 2021.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

“What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety, told The Associated Press.

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The new occupational safety report confirms that a large-caliber revolver was handed to Baldwin by an assistant director, David Halls, without consulting with on-set weapons specialists during or after the gun was loaded.

Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah.

Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah.
(Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)

“The Safety Coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address safety concerns,” the report states. “Management was given multiple options to correct safety concerns, but chose not to.” Director Joel Souza, and Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer, were both severely injured as a result. Halyna Hutchins died from her injuries. “

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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