It has been nearly two months since actor Alec Baldwin fired the shot that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of “Rust,” but there are still new details emerging regularly.
Special effects coordinator Thomas Gandy said he was just about five yards away from the fatal incident. In a new episode of ABC’s 20/20, entitled “The Deadly Take,” Gandy recalled some chilling details.
“Halyna was telling Alec she wanted to see his thumb working the hammer back to do the shot,” Gandy said.
Members of the “Rust” cast and crew described the shocking moments after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza were hit by a live bullet, in new interviews for our latest 20/20. Stream now on Hulu: https://t.co/ch6goQl9Vx pic.twitter.com/bJvAeg1xJv
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) December 12, 2021
When Baldwin fired the shot, Hutchins was only 18-24 inches away, Gandy said. Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician on the set, caught Hutchins as she collapsed.
“Her skin was so white,” Svetnoy said. He added that she told him she couldn’t feel her legs.
Other crew members said some people refused to acknowledge the harsh reality that Hutchins had accidentally been struck by a bullet. Costume designer Terese Davis said they were told, “She’s stable.”
Sadly, that did not turn out to be the case, and Hutchins died not long after.
Workers on set said gun safety during the filming of “Rust” was not up to par. Crew member Lane Luper quit just hours before Hutchins’ death, and he said scenes using firearms were played “fast and loose,” Fox News reported.
In the 20/20 episode, ABC News reporter Kaylee Hartung said “most of the camera crew” walked off the set over that morning after their concerns about “accommodations and safety” were not addressed.
Even if safety protocols were in place, it would seem logical to ask why Baldwin was pointing a firearm at someone just a foot and a half from him. All other protocols aside, this is a blatant violation of basic gun safety.
But instead of addressing this question, Baldwin has refused to take responsibility and even denied he pulled the trigger.
“The trigger wasn’t pulled, I never pulled the trigger,” Baldwin said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. He went on to assure the interviewer he would “never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them.”
Asked by @GStephanopoulos how a real bullet got on the “Rust” set, Alec Baldwin says: “I have no idea. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
It is extremely unlikely for a revolver to fire unless the user has his finger on the trigger. Baldwin’s story about the gun simply “going off” is not technically impossible, but it is incredibly improbable.
Yet even if his story is true, we now know he was pointing the gun at Hutchins from just inches away. Unless, of course, he believes the gun pointed itself at Hutchins before magically firing itself.
At best, Baldwin is guilty of breaking at least one rule of basic firearm safety by pointing a gun at someone from close range. At worst, he broke another rule by putting his finger on the trigger.
In either case, Baldwin’s reckless actions have left a woman dead, and that is a fact he will be forced to live with.
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