Rust Gaffer on the Moment That Will 'Haunt Him Forever'

Serge Svetnoy files negligence suit naming producers, assistant director, armorer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2021 8:17 AM CST
Rust Gaffer Files Negligence Lawsuit
Serge Svetnoy, chief of lighting on the "Rust" film set, takes questions from the media after his attorney announced a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others, Wednesday, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The chief electrician on the set of Rust didn't name names when he spoke out about a lack of professionalism that set the stage for the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21. But he's naming names now. On Wednesday gaffer Serge Svetnoy, 63, became the first crew member to take legal action against the film's producers—including the man who fired the bullet, Alec Baldwin—with a negligence suit filed in Los Angeles. It addition to the producers, it names armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed; first assistant director Dave Halls, who may or may not have handed the gun to Baldwin; property master Sarah Zachry; and weapons provider Seth Kenney, per the Los Angeles Times.

Detectives now know who loaded the bullet that killed Hutchins into a .45 Colt revolver used as a prop, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told Good Morning America on Wednesday, though she didn't give a name. But it's still not clear who brought live ammunition onto the New Mexico film set. At a news conference, Svetnoy said he'd seen guns lying "unattended in the sand" days before the shooting. He also said he'd seen Gutierrez Reed with guns under her belt. Her attorney, Jason Bowles, has suggested someone placed a live round inside a box of blanks. "We are convinced that this was sabotage and Hannah is being framed," he said Wednesday. "We believe that the scene was tampered with as well before the police arrived."

Carmack-Altwies said there is no evidence of sabotage. Svetnoy's attorney, Gary Dordick, said that even if it was sabotage, "where was [Gutierrez Reed] when they had the gun? Where was she when they put the bullet in the gun? She failed at her job miserably." Dordick said Svetnov "is not motivated by money" but hopes "to make these kind of unsafe conditions that happen too much on movie sets stop now," per Reuters. Svetnoy noted he was hit with "discharge materials from the blast" and the bullet "narrowly missed him." He then held Hutchins, his friend and fellow immigrant from Ukraine, as she bled from a bullet wound to the chest in a moment that will "haunt him forever," according to the suit. (Read more Alec Baldwin stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.