The “Rust” producer was fined more than $136,000 for alleged security breaches after Halyna Hutchins was gunned down on set.

Rust Movie Productions LLC was fined more than $136,000 by the New Mexico Department of Occupational Health and Safety on Wednesday, months after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead in Alec Baldwin in the set. In a scathing report, security officials said the production company showed “clear indifference to the recognized risks associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in fatalities, serious injuries and unsafe working conditions”.

“Our investigation found that this tragic incident would never have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” said Office of the Environment Secretary James Kenney in a statement announcing the traffic ticket. “This is a complete failure by the employer to follow nationally recognized protocols that keep employees safe.”

The agency said the “Intentional-Serious” citation and the $136,793 fine is the maximum allowed under New Mexico law.

Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was injured when a gun being used for a scene by Baldwin, who was co-producing and starring in the film, was waived on October 21, 2021. Baldwin he said he did not pull the trigger, claiming the gun went off when he pulled back the hammer and released it.

The agency noted that the report only assesses workplace safety conditions and does not cover potential criminal investigations. No one was criminally charged in the shooting.

Hutchins’ family said they were “pleased” that the report “shed some light on the workplace safety issues that plagued Rust and led to the tragic and fatal events of October 21, 2021.”

“Our own investigation found overwhelming evidence of recklessness and negligence on the part of the production team of Rust and others,” the family said in a statement.

Rust Movie Productions LLC told CBS News in a statement that it plans to appeal the decision.

“While we appreciate OSHA’s time and effort in its investigation, we disagree with its findings and plan to appeal,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with Halyna’s family.”

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The entrance to Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the movie “Rust” was filming, on October 29, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images


A summary of the investigation attributed many of the security issues to the fact that the set’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also tasked with working as a prop assistant. The summary said that when her superior scolded her for not spending enough time working on props, she replied, “there are working guns on set every day and those will be a priority because when they aren’t, that’s when dangerous mistakes can happen.”

Two days later, according to the summary, there were two misfires on the set. In one case, someone inadvertently fired a blank into the ground; in the other, Alec Baldwin’s stunt double inadvertently fired a round. The summary said that none of these incidents were properly reported and that no corrective action was taken to ensure it did not happen again.

The next day, Gutierrez-Reed notified her supervisor that she was on her last eight days assigned to work as a gunsmith, according to the summary, and her supervisor replied that there would be “no more trading days.” When she asked for clarification, the supervisor replied, “Like training Alec and such.”

In a scathing summary of the findings, the report said that Rust Movie Productions “disregarded or failed to follow up, ask questions, or attempt to understand what happened when employees notified management of misfire incidents and did not feel safe on set.” .

“The Safety Coordinator was present on set and did not take any direct action to resolve the safety issues,” the report added. “Management was given multiple opportunities to take corrective action and chose not to.”

The report did not specifically address one of the most serious questions remaining about the incident – how a live round, which was supposed to be banned on set, got into the gun. But he noted that the gun used by Baldwin was loaded long before the scene was filmed, breaking security protocol.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers supported the report’s findings, adding, “As we’ve stated before, if someone from Production had called Hannah back to the church before the scene to consult with her, this tragedy would have been avoided.”

The Baldwin Foundation tweeted that “we are grateful that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin, making it clear that he believed the weapon contained only false rounds”, adding, “Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the conclusions of Bureau violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico authorities have clarified these critical issues.”

“We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy,” the statement added.

Kenney, the cabinet secretary, said his office had not received any safety complaints from the cast or crew prior to the shooting, according to the Associated Press.

“This tragedy, this loss of life, could have been avoided, and we want people to say something,” he said.

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