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Halyna Hutchins' Husband Has Hired Los Angeles Law Firm Specializing In Wrongful Death Suits After Shooting On 'Rust' Set
A spokesperson for the law firm Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP confirmed that Matthew Hutchins had retained their services but declined to comment further "out of respect to the family."
Halyna Hutchins’ husband has hired a law firm specializing in wrongful death lawsuits in the wake of his wife’s tragic death on the film set of “Rust.”
Angela Bailey, director of public relations for Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP, confirmed to Oxygen.com that the firm had been retained by Matthew Hutchins, but declined to provide any further details “out of respect to the family.”
The Los Angeles-based law firm specializes in personal injury, wrongful death litigation and business litigation, according to their website.
Matthew is an attorney himself, practicing corporate law in Los Angeles with the firm Latham & Watkins, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The latest legal move comes just two weeks after Halyna was fatally shot on the New Mexico film set of the western “Rust.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said at a press conference last week that actor Alec Baldwin fired a “suspected live round” from a revolver as he was rehearsing a scene from the movie, striking Halyna in the chest before the bullet bore into the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who had been standing behind her.
Halyna was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she later died.
Investigators are now trying to determine how the live round got into the gun and whether criminal charges will be filed in the case.
According to Mendoza, investigators believe the gun was handled the day of the shooting by the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, Baldwin and assistant director David Halls.
“All three individuals have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements,” he said.
Jason Bowles, an attorney for Gutierrez-Reed, told The New York Times, that the Gutierrez-Reed had loaded the gun that day with six dummy rounds taken from a box labeled “dummies.”
Bowles initially said at some point that day the gun had been left unattended for two hours, but later backtracked after speaking with Gutierrez-Reed again and said it had been more like five to 10 minutes.
Bowles expanded on what occurred the afternoon of Oct. 21 in a statement to Oxygen.com, noting that Gutierrez-Reed had been “incredibly safety conscious” while working on the set.
“She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person,” he said. “Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ Round box. Who put those in there and why is the central question.”
He went on to say that she had been in the practice of locking up the weapons during breaks or when they weren’t being used on set.
“Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question, and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break,” Bowles said. “Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set. She inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day. She always inspected the rounds. She did again right before handing the firearm to Mr. Halls, by spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm. No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set.”
Halls’ attorney Lisa Torraco said in an appearance on Fox News earlier this week that it had not been Halls’ responsibility to check the firearm and avoided confirming or denying whether Halls had been the one to hand the loaded weapon to Baldwin.
“Whether or not he handed the firearm directly to Alec Baldwin at that moment or whether the armorer handed it directly to Alec Baldwin at that moment, doesn’t really matter because (Halls) didn’t load it,” she said. “He’s not responsible for checking it.”
As the investigation continues, a spokesperson for Matthew told The Los Angeles Times that he “remains focused on taking care of his son and processing his grief.”
Halyna and Matthew had shared a 9-year-old son Andros.