Hutchins, director of photography for the Western film Rust, died on 21 October after Baldwin discharged a firearm while practising a gun-drawing technique on set
Witnesses have revealed Halyna Hutchins’ last words in the moments after she was shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie Rust.
Ms Hutchins, director of photography for the Western film, died on 21 October after Mr Baldwin discharged a firearm while practising a gun-drawing technique on the set in New Mexico.
Seconds after she was struck, Ms Hutchins cried out to a boom operator: “That was no good. That was no good at all,” according to a Los Angeles Times report based on interviews with 14 crew members.
The crew members told how Mr Baldwin’s fatal shot came as he was rehearsing a shootout scene inside a church so the camera crew could set up their angles.
“So, I guess I’m gonna take this out, pull it, and go, ‘Bang!’” Mr Baldwin said as he clutched a Colt .45 revolver, which he believed had been loaded with dummy rounds instead of gunpowder and a projectile.
His words were followed by a bang from the gun as a lead bullet ripped through Ms Hutchins before landing in the shoulder of the film’s director, Joel Souza.
Blood began pouring from Ms Hutchins’ chest as she fell backward into the head electrician and Mr Souza crumpled to the ground clutching his shoulder.
The 42-year-old cinematographer uttered her last words as crew members crowded around her and a boom operator locked eyes, telling her: “Oh, that was no good.”
Mr Baldwin looked on in horror and repeatedly yelled: “What the f*** just happened,” according to the witnesses who spoke to the Times.
Hours later, Ms Hutchins was pronounced dead at hospital. Mr Souza was treated and released.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into how live ammunition ended up in the prop gun and has thus far refused to rule out the possibility of criminal charges for anyone involved, including Mr Baldwin himself.
The actor, who was also a producer on the film, reflected on the shooting when confronted by paparazzi over the weekend, calling it a “one-in-a-trillion” episode.
“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this,” he said. “We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza painted a different portrait of the set at a news conference last week, saying: “I think there was some complacency on the set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possible by the state of New Mexico.”
Crew members who spoke to the Times echoed that characterisation, many of them alleging that their safety concerns prior to the shooting were ignored by upper management.
“It always felt like the budget was more important than crew members,” Lane Luper, the A-camera first assistant, told the newspaper. “Every thing was about the schedule and the budget.”
On the morning of the shooting, six members of the camera crew were gearing up for a walk-out to protest working conditions and safety measures, the Times reported.
Among crew members’ concerns, the Times said, was the experience level of the film’s sole armourer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for overseeing all firearms on the set, including the one Mr Baldwin used to shoot Ms Hutchins.
The 21 October shooting marked the fourth time that a gun had been accidentally discharged on set, Ms Luper said.
Attorneys for Ms Gutierrez-Reed pinned blame for the incidents on her superiors, saying she “fought for training, days to maintain weapons and proper time to prepare for gunfire, but ultimately was overruled by production and her department.”
“The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings,” the attorneys said in a statement last week.