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Alec Baldwin said he was “grateful” for New Mexico’s investigation into the fatal on-set shooting during the production of his ill-fated film “Rust” last fall, claiming that the state’s report “exonerates” him.
“We appreciate the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds,” Baldwin said in a statement through his attorney on the day New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau announced that the film’s production company Rust Movie Productions LLC would be fined the maximum $139,793 for safety failures while shooting.
Baldwin accidentally shot and killed the movie’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, on October 21 while she was showing him in what direction to point a prop gun during a rehearsal.
In a previous interview, Baldwin said he hadn’t pulled the trigger when the gun went off. Hutchins, 42, died and director Joel Souza was wounded when the bullet passed through her into his shoulder.
ALEC BALDWIN’S ‘RUST’ FINED BY NEW MEXICO FOR WILLFUL GUN SAFETY FAILURES
Baldwin’s statement went on to say New Mexico’s report specified that his power as a producer on the film was “limited to approving script changes and creative casting. Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues.”
The report gave a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on the set before the fatal shooting. The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.
“What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety, told The Associated Press.
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The new occupational safety report confirms that a large-caliber revolver was handed to Baldwin by an assistant director, David Halls, without consulting with on-set weapons specialists during or after the gun was loaded.
“The Safety Coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address safety concerns,” the report states. “Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and chose not to do so. As a result of these failures, Director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were severely injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries.”
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.