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A script supervisor on the set of “Rust” has accused Alec Baldwin of “intentionally” firing his gun on set—killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins—even though the scene did not call for him to fire the weapon, according to a new lawsuit.
Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell announced the lawsuit against Baldwin and others associated with the movie Wednesday alongside her attorney Gloria Allred Wednesday.
Mitchell—who later called 911 to report the shooting—described standing on the set, looking at photos on her iPhone to make sure Baldwin was wearing the correct shirt and vest when she heard a “deafening, loud gunshot,” on the afternoon of Oct. 21, according to The New York Times.
“I was stunned,” she said. “I heard someone moaning and I turned around and my director was falling backward and holding his upper body.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Medoza has said Hutchins, who served as director of photography on the film, was struck with a “suspected live round” from a gun discharged by Baldwin during rehearsal. The bullet tore through her chest and then lodged into the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who had been standing behind her.
While Souza survived the shooting, Hutchins was later declared dead after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
After the shooting, Mitchell ran from the set and called 911.
“We had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun, we need help immediately,” she said in a 911 call, according to local station KABC-TV. “We were rehearsing and it went off, and I ran out, we all ran out.”
Mitchell is now accusing Baldwin of “intentionally” firing the weapon and suggested the fatal shooting occurred because of lax safety procedures on the film set.
“Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm,” stated the lawsuit, which was obtained by The New York Times.
It goes on to say that Baldwin should have “assumed that the gun in question was loaded” until “it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded” and said Baldwin should not have relied on assistant director David Halls' guidance that it had been a “cold gun.”
“Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the [a]ssistant [d]irector to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself,” stated the lawsuit, also obtained by Deadline.
In addition to Baldwin, who was both starring in and producing the movie, the lawsuit also names Halls, other “Rust” producers, production companies, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and prop master Sarah Zachry as co-defendants.
“The fact that live ammunition was allowed on a movie set, that guns and ammunition were left unattended, that the gun in question was handed to Mr. Baldwin by the assistant director who had no business doing so, the fact that safety bulletins were not promulgated or ignored, coupled with the fact that the scene in question did not call for a gun to be fired at all, makes this a case where injury or death was much more than just a possibility — it was a likely result,” the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, safety on the set had been a continuing concern, even prompting one camera operator to say in a text message to a production manager that the set was “super unsafe” just days before the shooting, Allred said, according to The New York Post.
“Prior to the incident guns had been misfired on set, including, without limitation, by Defendant Baldwin’s stunt double and a prop master who accidentally shot herself in the foot,” the suit alleges.
Mitchell is asking for unspecified damages for what she said has been intentional infliction of emotional distress and deliberate infliction of harm.
At the press conference Wednesday, the script supervisor said she continues to be haunted by the fatal shooting.
“I relive the shooting and the sound of the explosion from the gun over and over again,” she said. “I am depressed. I don’t feel safe. I feel that at any moment anything could happen to me and to those that I care about that are standing close to me.”
She added that she is “frightened of the future” and said the “violent tragedy has taken away the joy in my life.”
Mitchell has worked as a script supervisor for 40 years and said she had always felt safe while working on movie sets in the past.
“I have never before seen anything like what happened on Oct. 21. And I never want to see what happened on that day,” she said, according to KABC.
Gutierrez-Reed told investigators with the sheriff’s office that on the day of the fatal shooting, she had loaded the gun with “dummies” and said that live rounds should never be kept on a set, according to a search warrant obtained by Oxygen.com.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, has said in a previous statement to Oxygen.com that he believes the 24-year-old armorer may have been “framed.”
“We eagerly await the FBI’s investigation as well and we are asking for a full and complete investigation of all of the facts, including the live rounds themselves, how they ended up in the ‘dummies’ box, and who put them in there,” Bowles said earlier this month. “We are convinced that this was sabotage and Hannah is being framed.”
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has said investigators are still trying to determine how the live round got into the gun and how other live rounds got onto the set.
“We still don’t know how they got on the set,” she told ABC News last week. “And how they got there I think will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision.”
According to Carmack-Altwies, the criminal investigation into the shooting could take months.
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