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Alec Baldwin wasn't supposed to pull the trigger in 'Rust' scene that led to fatal shooting, lawsuit claims

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rust set
This Oct. 23, 2021, file photo, shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., where actor Alec Baldwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun while filming “Rust” and unwittingly killed a cinematographer and injured a director. Associated Press/Jae C. Hong
  • Alec Baldwin was not supposed to pull the trigger of the gun during the "Rust" scene that led to the fatal shooting, a lawsuit says.

  • "The scene did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver," the suit filed by Serge Svetnoy states.

  • Svetnoy was the chief electrician on the set of the indie Western movie.

Actor Alec Baldwin was not supposed to pull the trigger of the gun he was carrying in a rehearsal scene for the movie "Rust" that led to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a newly filed lawsuit against him claims.

Baldwin shot and killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on October 21, while inside of a church building setting on the New Mexico set for the indie Western.

"The scene to be filmed called for Defendant Baldwin, who was seated in a pew, to reach across his chest, draw" a .45 long Colt revolver "from a shoulder holster, and point it in the general direction of the camera," according to the negligence lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles by the film's chief electrician Serge Svetnoy.

The suit added, "The scene did not call for Defendant Baldwin to shoot the Colt Revolver, which should not have contained any live ammunition."

The lawsuit names Baldwin - who was starring in and producing the film - as well as assistant director Dave Halls and the movie's armorer Hannah Guitterez-Reed as defendants.

Lawyers for Svetnoy wrote in the lawsuit that as Baldwin "practiced his move for the scene," Svetnoy saw the gun "being pointed in his direction."

"Suddenly and completely unexpectedly, Plaintiff heard the loudest gunshot that he has ever experienced on a movie set," the suit states, explaining that Svetnoy "felt a strange and terrifying whoosh of what felt like pressurized air from his right."

"He felt what he believed was gunpowder and other residual materials from the gun directly strike the right side of his face and scratch the lenses of the eyeglasses he was wearing," the lawsuit says.

The revolver that Baldwin discharged was supposed to be loaded with dummy rounds, but live ammunition had been loaded into the weapon, authorities have said.

The incident remains under police investigation.

Svetnoy alleges in the suit that the bullet that struck and killed Hutchins and injured Souza "narrowly missed him."

"Plaintiff suffered injury, including severe emotional distress, as a direct and proximate result of this incident," the suit says, adding, "This incident was caused by the negligent acts and omissions of Defendants."

Insider has reached out to representatives for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed about the lawsuit, but did not immediately receive a response.

Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed said this week that their client was "being framed" in connection to the shooting.

An attorney for Halls could not comment on the suit because she is not licensed to practice law in California. Halls did not immediately return a request for comment.

Production for "Rust" declined to comment to Insider on the suit.

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