Alec Baldwin Says New Mexico Investigation Into ‘Rust’ Shooting ‘Exonerates’ Him

by Samantha Whidden

Following the news that New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau’s official report on the “Rust” set shooting is to be released this week, Alec Baldwin stated the investigation exonerates him. 

Fox News reports that in a statement through his lawyer, Alec Baldwin revealed he is grateful for New Mexico’s investigation into the shooting during the production of his film “Rust” last year. He even goes as far as to say that the report exonerates him. “We appreciate the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds.”

In October 2021, Alec Baldwin, who was acting and producing “Rust,” accidentally shot and killed the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins. At the time, Hutchins was showing Baldwin what direction to point the prop gun in during rehearsal.

The film’s director Joel Souza also sustained injuries in the incident. His injury occurred when the bullet passed through Hutchins and into his shoulder. The report specifies that Baldwin’s power as the producer of the movie was limited. He was only to approve “script changes and creative casting.”

“Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violation,” the statement continued. “And we are pleased that New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues.”

More Details About Alec Baldwin and the ‘Rust’ Set Shooting

The New Mexico officials report also revealed the safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols. Production managers also did take limited or even no action to address two misfires on the “Rust” set. Which happened prior to the fatal shooting. The film’s production company, Rust Movie Production LLC, will receive the maximum fine of $139,793 for the safety failures. 

Bob Genoway, Bureau Chief for Occupational Safety, also shares, “What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees. Regarding the use of firearms. And management’s failures to act upon those obvious hazards.”

The report also states that the Safety Coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address safety concerns. “Management was provided the multiple opportunities to take corrective actions. And [they] 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.”

Alec Baldwin Previously Said Someone Was Responsible For the ‘Rust’ Shooting But He Knew It Wasn’t Him 

Months after the incident on the “Rust” set, Alec Baldwin stated that he knew someone was responsible for the incident. However, he knew it wasn’t him. “Someone put a live bullet in a gun,” Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “A bullet that wasn’t even to be on the property. And I can’t say who that is. But I know it’s not me.”

While speaking about working alongside Hutchins, Alec Baldwin declared he loved working with her. “She was a joy. Everyone loved her as a person. And everyone admired her talent.”