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Alec Baldwin believes a new report from New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OSHB) “exonerates” him in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“We are grateful to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for investigating this matter,” Baldwin’s attorney said in a statement shared by the actor on Instagram. “We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds.”
It goes on to reference Baldwin’s role as a producer on the film, noting that his responsibilities were restricted to several key functions.
“Additionally, the report recognizes that Mr. Baldwin’s authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting,” the statement continues. “Mr. Baldwin had no authorities over the matters that were subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues.”
It concludes by saying that they are “confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy.”
Hutchins was killed on Oct. 21 when a gun the actor was holding discharged and struck her in the chest during a rehearsal for the ill-fated western “Rust.”
This week, OHSB announced a fine against the film’s production company of $136,793 after an investigation by the agency concluded that management “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take correction action, according to a statement from the department.
They went on to say the tragedy “never would have happened” if Rust Movie Productions, LLC “had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety.”
In another Instagram post, Baldwin referenced a specific section of the report which said “Alec Baldwin, Actor and Producer, and Joel Souza, Director, negotiated with various producers to help create and fund the Rust project. Alec Baldwin’s authority on the set included approving script changes and actor candidates.”
Although not highlighted by Baldwin himself, the report, obtained by Oxygen.com, goes on to say that the actor “handled the revolver and fired the round that struck and injured Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza.”
The report goes on to call out management’s “plain indifference to the safety of employees by ignoring recognized hazards inherent to the use of firearms and ammunition by failing to take appropriate corrective or investigative actions after two firearms-related incidents (misfires)” occurred on Oct. 16 and after an employee “notified management they did not feel safe with how weapons were being handled on set.”
Just one day before the fatal shooting, first assistant camera Lane Luper resigned after citing safety and other concerns on set.
The report also highlighted the dual roles the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had been performing on the film. According to the their findings, Gutierrez-Reed had only been allowed eight paid days at the armorer’s rate and was instructed to spend the rest of her time during production fulfilling the duties of a prop assistant under Sarah Zachery.
On October 17, Gutierrez-Reed sent a text message to line producer Gabrielle Pickle to let her know they were on day 8 of “Armor days” and asked if there was going to be anymore gunfire, but Pickle allegedly responded that there would be no more firearms training days, according to the report.
In a statement to Oxygen.com, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion said they also believe the report supports their contention that she had not been responsible for the deadly shooting.
“OSHA found that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns,” they said. “Critically, OSHA also determined that production failed to call Hannah in to perform her armorer duties and inspect the firearm right before its use in the impromptu scene with Baldwin.”
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating how a live bullet got into the gun. No criminal charges have been filed to date in connection with the shooting.
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