Rust electrician sues Alec Baldwin, armorer and assistant director

Rust electrician who held dying Halyna Hutchins in his arms reveals ‘scene did NOT require Alec Baldwin to shoot the revolver’ as he sues for ’emotional distress’

  • Head electrician on the Rust movie set Serge Svetnoy has sued Alec Baldwin, rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls 
  • He claimed that the negligence that led to Hutchins’ death has caused him ‘severe emotional distress’ he’s unsure if he can recover from
  • Svetnoy sued Baldwin for his negligence as an actor and as a producer of the movie, claiming that ‘the scene did not call for (him) to shoot the Colt Revolver’ 
  • In a tribute post to Hutchins on Facebook Svetnoy said he ‘was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna’ when she was fatally shot
  • ‘I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,’ he added before filing the suit, which asked for damages and a jury trial
  • The head electrician on the Rust movie set who held dying Halyna Hutchins in his arms has sued Alec Baldwin, rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls over ‘severe emotional distress’ after the fatal shooting and revealed that the scene did not call for Baldwin to fire the gun. 

    Serge Svetnoy filed the suit against the three crew members – as well as others, who remain unnamed – and claimed that their alleged negligence led to the shooting and put him in emotional turmoil.

    Svetnoy alleged in the court documents that the bullet struck director Joel Souza, 48, and killed Hutchins, 42, nearly hit him, too, according to TMZ

    He also said that he was one of the first people to tend to Halyna while she was bleeding out and attempted to keep her conscious. 

    He told TMZ that he’s suing Baldwin because he ‘owed a duty to the Plaintiff and other crew members and actors on the “Rust” set to handle the Colt Revolver provided to him by Defendant Halls with reasonable care and diligence for the safety of “Rust” cast and crew’.

    Head electrician on the Rust movie set Serge Svetnoy (left), who held dying Halyna Hutchins (right) in his arms has sued Alec Baldwin, rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls over 'severe emotional distress' after the fatal shooting

    Head electrician on the Rust movie set Serge Svetnoy (left), who held dying Halyna Hutchins (right) in his arms has sued Alec Baldwin, rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls over ‘severe emotional distress’ after the fatal shooting

    Svetnoy sued Alec Baldwin, 63, for his negligence as an actor and as a producer of the movie, claiming that 'the scene did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver'

    Svetnoy sued Alec Baldwin, 63, for his negligence as an actor and as a producer of the movie, claiming that ‘the scene did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver’

    The gun Baldwin used to shoot Hutchins supplied by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (pictured), 24

    Rust assistant director David Halls (pictured) is also being sued and told Baldwin that the gun was cold

    The experienced crew member also sued 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (left) and the movie’s assistant director David Hall (right), who told Baldwin that the gun was cold

    Svetnoy said in an emotional Facebook post that he and Hutchins were friends and had worked on a number of films before

    Svetnoy said in an emotional Facebook post that he and Hutchins were friends and had worked on a number of films before

    ‘This duty called for Defendant Baldwin to double-check the Colt Revolver with Halls upon being handled to ensure that it did not contain live ammonization,’ he added in the court documents.

    Svetnoy went on to claim that if Baldwin knew the gun was loaded with a real bullet, he had another duty to ‘refrain from pointing it at anyone’.

    In a bombshell line, the lawsuit also revealed that the scene Baldwin was doing did not call for him to pull the trigger. The script supposedly directed the actor to draw the gun and point it in the general direction of the camera.

    However, ‘the scene did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver,’ the document stated.

    Besides his alleged negligence as an actor Svetnoy also pointed to the 63-year-old’s negligence as a producer of the movie. 

    He wrote: ‘They attempted to save money by hiring an insufficient number of crew members to safely handle the props and firearms.’

    According to TMZ the suit went on to claim that there were other failings on set, including violating ‘industry norms, declining requests for weapons training days, failing to allow proper time to allow for gunfire, failing to send out safety bulletins and spreading the staff too thin’.

    Svetnoy, who asked for damages and a jury trial, also called the target practice that took place before the fatal accident ‘outrageous’.

    Svetnoy shared the final photo of Halyna Hutchins (pictured holding the camera) on set in the church just moments before she was shot dead

    Svetnoy shared the final photo of Halyna Hutchins (pictured holding the camera) on set in the church just moments before she was shot dead

    Hutchins' October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Hutchins’ October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Authorities have been scouring the set of the film as they investigate how a live round came to be in the firearm

    Authorities have been scouring the set of the film as they investigate how a live round came to be in the firearm

    The head electrician said he was standing next to Hutchins when she was killed in rehearsals as Baldwin practiced drawing the weapon in the church pew and it accidentally fired.

    He said that he was friends with Hutchins for five years and considered her a good friend after sharing the final photo of the cinematographer filming on set in the church where she was shot dead.

    Svetnoy posted the picture to Facebook, captioned: ‘This is the last photo with Halyna on set.’

    The photo was taken on the same day of the incident and shows Hutchins holding a camera while Baldwin stands in costume surrounded by crew members in the dimly lit sparse church setting.

    Svetnoy has since described the harrowing moment he held his friend in his arms as she lay dying while she bled over his hands in an emotional tribute post on Facebook. 

    She was shot in the chest, while director Joel Souza was also wounded, and she stumbled back before collapsing, saying: ‘I can’t feel my legs.’

    In the post Svetnoy also blamed Hutchins’ death on ‘negligence and unprofessionalism’ as he blasted those responsible for not doing their jobs properly and claimed producers hired an inexperienced armorer.

    He wrote: ‘Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands.

    ‘I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through, what her husband Matt Hutchins and her son Andros went through, and the actor Alec Baldwin, who has been handed a gun on set. He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people.’

    The electrician said Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, who was named at the end of October as the person who loaded Baldwin’s vintage Colt pistol, was too young to be doing her job. 

    Guttierrez-Reed reportedly supplied the gun to the movie set and it was checked by assistant director David Hall, who told Baldwin that it was a ‘cold gun,’ meaning it had blanks. 

    He added: ‘The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; The person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. 

    ‘And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!

    ‘I’m sure that we had the professionals in every department, but one – the department that was responsible for the weapons.

    ‘There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field.’

    Svetnoy called on producers to ensure such an accident is never repeated by hiring qualified staff who know how to be safe on potentially dangerous sets.

    He said: ‘To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well.

    ‘I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen.

    ‘There should always be at least one professional in each department who knows the job. It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna.’

    Svetnoy finished off his post by saying: ‘We all loved Halyna. May God bless her soul.’

    The investigation remains ongoing but in the most recent development in the case, the District Attorney (DA) in charge of looking into the shooting has said she knows who loaded the gun.

    Mary Carmack-Altwies told Good Morning America that there were ‘so many levels of failures’ on the set before Hutchins was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on October 21.

    Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (pictured) on October 21 when he was handed prop gun with live ammunition

    Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (pictured) on October 21 when he was handed prop gun with live ammunition

    Mary Carmack-Altwies (pictured), the District Attorney in charge of the investigation, said there were 'so many levels of failures' on the set before Hutchins' death

    Mary Carmack-Altwies (pictured), the District Attorney in charge of the investigation, said there were ‘so many levels of failures’ on the set before Hutchins’ death

    Authorities have been probing how a suspected live round came to be in the firearm, which had been declared safe by an assistant director. When asked if she knew who had loaded the fatal shot, Carmack-Altwies said ‘yes’.

    The DA added that investigators found additional live rounds on set but could not specify how many because the investigation was ongoing.

    ‘We still don’t know how they got on the set and how they got there I think will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision,’ Carmack-Altwies said.

    ‘It’s probably more important to focus on what led up to the shooting because the moment of the shooting, we know that at least Mr Baldwin had no idea that the gun was loaded, so it’s more how did that gun get loaded, what levels of failure happened and were those levels of failure criminal?’

    She also refuted claims made by the attorney of the film’s armorer who suggested the weapon could have been intentionally loaded with live ammo.

    ‘Defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and used the word “sabotage”. We do not have proof,’ Carmack-Atlwies added.

    Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles has claimed that the incident could have been caused by sabotage by a third party who intentionally placed live ammo in a box of blanks, but Carmack-Altwies said that was unlikely.

    The Santa Fe county sheriff said there had been ‘some complacency’ in how weapons were handled and the set has been shut down since that day in October as authorities probe the scene of the incident. 

    Baldwin himself has said it is unlikely the low-budget movie will ever be completed.

    Last week the grieving actor shared a post from a crew member of Rust dismissing concerns about safety on the set of the film.

    He was also recently spotted going to a New York City salon with his wife, Hilaria, on November 9.








    On November 9 a tired-looking Baldwin and his wife Hilaria were seen strolling in New York City on the unseasonably warm fall day

    Baldwin's mask slipped down his face as he and his wife waited to cross the street

    On November 9 a tired-looking Baldwin and his wife Hilaria were seen strolling in New York City on the unseasonably warm fall day

    In the weeks since the shooting, several former crew members have spoken out about the unsafe environment on the set.

    Lane Luper, who served as the film’s A-camera first assistant, said he quit one day before the fatal shooting because employees were being overworked, Covid safety was not being enforced properly and gun safety was poor.

    ‘I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,’ he told Good Morning America when asked about the events that led up to the fatal shooting.

    ‘It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.’

    He then disputed the producers’ claim that safety was a top priority on set, saying: ‘I only personally remember two safety meetings that involved the entire crew.’

    Luper ultimately accused the film’s production of breaking the cardinal rule of having guns on set. ‘There shall never be live rounds anywhere on a studio lot, or stage or set,’ he added.

    He then choked up when describing the late Hutchins, saying: ‘She genuinely was something special.’

    In his letter of resignation, Luper said there had been two accidental weapon discharges on set and one accidental sound-effects explosion that went off around the crew.

    ‘There have been NO explanations as to what to expect for these shots. When anyone from production is asked we are usually met with the same answers about not having enough time to complete the day if we rehearse or that “this is a 21 day shoot,”‘ Luper wrote in the letter.

    He added that the crew grew exhausted of long commutes from the set to their lodging, which for some was more than two hours away.

    ‘In my 10 years as a camera assistant I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,’ Luper said.

    Last week, Baldwin fired back at the claims that the working conditions on the set were unsafe, though, sharing a social media post from one crew member slamming her coworkers for painting a ‘blatantly false’ picture of the set as ‘chaotic and unsafe’.

    Baldwin shared a screenshot of the post written by costume designer Terese Magpale Davis to his Instagram account with the caption: ‘Read this.’

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    A distressed Baldwin was pictured speaking on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico after he accidentally fired the fatal shot








    ‘I am so sick of this narrative,’ Davis wrote in her post. ‘I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bull***t.’

    Davis’ post refuted many of the complaints of crew members – including that they routinely worked more than 12-hour days.

    ‘We never worked more than a 12.5-hour shoot day. That was once,’ Davis wrote.

    ‘Most days were under 12. The day Halyna died we had come off of a 12 hour turnaround after an 11 hour shoot day. We had (including camera) gotten off by 6.30pm.’

    Davis continued, sharing that the fatal shooting that occurred on set will haunt her for a long time. She noted that she is angry at Dave Hall, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun, but would not accuse him of not caring about safety.

    ‘I am heartbroken and furious,’ she wrote. ‘I will never get the sound of that gunshot or my director’s screams out of my head as a result.’

    ‘My friend is dead. Am I angry at him? Yes. But I won’t jump on the bandwagon and pretend that he was uncaring about our safety the whole way through.’

    Baldwin had remained silent about the incident on Rust prior to sharing the post.

    Gun that went off in Alec Baldwin’s hands and claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins was used for off-set target practice by crew members and live ammo and blanks were stored together, sources say 

    Alec Baldwin was wielding a vintage Colt pistol (pictured)

    Alec Baldwin was wielding a vintage Colt pistol (pictured)

    The gun that killed the cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust had been used for target practice by crew members, sources linked to the western film’s production said. 

    Multiple sources connected to the set of Rust told TMZ that the same Colt pistol that went off in Alec Baldwin’s hands, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, had been used recreationally by crew members. 

    The sources claim that some crew members would go off for target practice using real bullets, and some believe a live round from those practice sessions found its way onto the set. 

    Another source told TMZ that live ammo and blanks were being stored in the same area on set, offering another possible explanation as to how a bullet was fired from Baldwin’s Colt.  

    A search warrant released Friday said that Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, had laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the Colt from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds. 

    ‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and crew that the gun was safe to fire for the scene, the warrant said. 

    Seconds later, filming a scene inside an Old West-style church, Baldwin apparently aimed towards the camera and pulled the trigger, accidentally killing Hutchins as she filmed him, and injuring Souza, who stood behind her. 

    Two production sources who previously worked with Gutierrez-Reed said this was not the first time she was involved in an incident on a movie set. 

    The two sources told The Daily Beast that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had allegedly given an 11-year-old actress a gun without checking it properly while on the set of the Nicholas Cage film, The Old Way. 

    ‘There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe,’ one of the sources said.

    ‘She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again.’  

    Sources on the Rust set have said the fatal incident that killed Hutchins, 42, and injured Souza, 48, was a result of production failings from top to bottom. 

    They added that assistant director Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was safe, should have checked the weapon. 

    ‘He’s supposed to be our last line of defense and he failed us,’ one of the sources on set said. ‘He’s the last person that’s supposed to look at that firearm.’

    A Rust production source told The Daily Beast that there were at least two previous incidents of guns being accidentally discharged by other crewmember on set before Thursday’s tragic incident. 

    The source described Gutierrez-Reed as ‘inexperienced and green’.

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