The gaffer, or the chief electrician in a film production unit, working on the Alec Baldwin production Rust, felt a whoosh of air and heard the loudest shot he had ever heard on set, and then watched helplessly as his friend, the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, faded away in his arms, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday. Hutchins had died of a gunshot wound when a firearm being used by Baldwin during a shoot accidentally discharged what turned out to be a live bullet. The incident happened on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 21.
Serge Svetnoy, the gaffer, reports 'Variety', provided a detailed, first-hand account of the shooting in a negligence suit against several defendants, including Baldwin, the film's producers, the armourer and first assistant director. He alleges he suffered injury when the bullet narrowly missed him, as well as "severe emotional distress". The suit is the first to be filed in connection with the tragedy, in which Baldwin fired a Colt .45 containing a live round while setting up for a shot at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. Hutchins was airlifted to a hospital, where she died.
The film's director, Joel Souza, was also struck in the shoulder, but he was discharged from the hospital after first aid. Svetnoy had previously expressed his outrage at the "negligence and unprofessionalism" that led to Hutchins' death in a public Facebook post.
In the suit, he said he was close friends with Hutchins, having worked with her on nine projects since 2017. On the day of the incident, he was setting up lighting inside a church building while the director, Baldwin and other crew prepared to shoot the scene.