Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor on Rust, who was the first to call 911 after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the movie’s set, is suing actor Alec Baldwin and the film’s producers saying they intentionally ignored safety protocols that would have prevented the tragedy.
According to the lawsuit, Mitchell was standing less than four feet from Hutchins at the time the cinematographer was shot, and was “in the line of fire” when the gun went off, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Mitchell said she was using her iPhone to check the continuity of Baldwin’s costume in the church where they were preparing to rehearse a scene when she heard the explosion of the gun.
After Hutchins and Souza were shot, Mitchell ran outside to call 911, she said. According to audio from a 911 call obtained by The Times, Mitchell expressed frustration that an assistant director, presumably Dave Halls, yelled at her at lunch and asked about revisions. She drove home after speaking with law enforcement officers, she said Wednesday.
“Ten minutes after I got home, someone notified me that [Hutchins] was dead,” she said, “I stood in my driveway screaming.”
The allegations in the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, include assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and deliberate infliction of harm. The complaint stated that the producers ignored standard protocols by allowing live ammunition on set and by allowing weapons and ammunition to be left unattended on a cart. The lawsuit also said that Baldwin was handed the gun by the film’s first assistant director, Dave Halls, when it should have been given to him by the armorer or prop master.
The new legal action comes after Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician or gaffer on Rust, recently filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles that alleged negligence on the part of the film’s producers — including Baldwin — in Hutchins’ death. Svetnoy held Hutchins in his arms as she lay dying.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office detectives are still investigating the shooting, including how live ammunition got onto the movie set, a major violation of film production safety protocols, and how at least one lead bullet got into the revolver used by Baldwin. Deputies have seized more than 500 rounds of ammunition from the set of Rust and some additional rounds were found inside the revolver that Baldwin fired, Sheriff Adan Mendoza said last month. Attorneys for Gutierrez Reed have suggested the set was sabotaged and that the scene was tampered with before police arrived.
The suit names as defendants Rust movie Productions LLC and multiple individual producers and other production companies, including Thomasville Pictures, Streamline Global, Short Porch Pictures and 3rd Shift Media. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on Rust, and Halls were also named as defendants.
On October 21, 2021, Hutchins died and director Joel Souza was injured as Baldwin rehearsed a scene where he was supposed to reach across his chest and pull a revolver from his holster. The shootout took place after the production came back from lunch in the weathered wooden church on the edge of the old western town, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set, near Santa Fe.
Mitchell is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
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