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ABC News
ABC News

Rust film company fined over fatal shooting of cinematographer with prop gun

A gun held by Alec Baldwin fired and fatally shot Halyna Hutchins on a film set. (AP: Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican )

The film production company behind Rust is being ordered to pay the maximum fine over a cinematographer being fatally shot by a prop gun held by actor and producer Alec Baldwin.

New Mexico's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said Rust Movie Productions must pay $US136,793 ($184,000), and it distributed a scathing report of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires onset prior to the fatal shooting.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on October 21 when a gun Baldwin was holding fired and shot her.

Baldwin said in a December interview with the US ABC News that he was pointing the gun at Hutchins under her instruction on the set of the Western film when it went off without him pulling the trigger.

Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.

The New Mexico bureau documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

Bob Genoway, the bureau's chief for occupational safety, said there was a failure of firearms management on the set of Rust.

"What we had, based on our investigators' findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management's failure to act upon those obvious hazards," he said.

Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of the movie Rust. (Instagram: HalynaHutchins)

The new occupational safety report confirmed a large-calibre revolver was handed to Baldwin by an assistant director, David Halls, without consultation with on-set weapons specialists during or after the gun was loaded.

The report said Halls, who also served as safety coordinator, also witnessed two accidental discharges of rifles on set, and that he and other managers who knew of the misfires took no investigative, corrective or disciplinary action.

"Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and chose not to do so," the report said.

Rust Movie Productions spokesperson Stefan Friedman said it would dispute the findings and sanction.

"While we appreciate OSHA's time and effort in its investigation, we disagree with its findings and plan to appeal," the spokesperson said.

At least five lawsuits have been filed over the shooting, including a wrongful death suit brought by Hutchins's family against Baldwin and the movie's other producers.

The lawsuit, on behalf of widower Matt Hutchins and his nine-year-old son, alleges a "callous" disregard in the face of safety complaints on the set.


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