New Mexico’s criminal authorities may not yet know who to blame for Halyna Hutchins‘ death — but one state agency is laying down the hammer … pointing to the production at large.
The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau — which deals with this sort of thing throughout New Mexico — issued a hefty fine of $139,793 this week after finding that Rust Movie Productions (the production company behind Alec Baldwin‘s flick) majorly screwed the pooch when it came to gun safety on set.
The government entity says RMP failed across the board on maintaining and enforcing industry standard protocols for gun usage in a film — and as a result, someone died.
They point to two different misfires that had occurred during filming prior to the Hutchins incident, which the bureau says went largely unaddressed by the official safety point person among the crew … in this case, they say that was assistant director Dave Halls.
The report notes that several crew members expressed concern after these misfires — among other weapons-related concerns — but it would appear no one really did anything to correct it or even address it … via training or discipline, etc.
They also say that for the fatal shooting, Halls again broke protocol by handling the weapon and giving it to Baldwin … without consulting a specialist during or after the gun was loaded. Speaking of that, they make a damning conclusion about live ammo — suggesting the production heads had no system in place to make sure real bullets didn’t make their way on set … which they say is a clear violation of basic procedure for this sort of thing.
A Bureau rep says, “Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and 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.”
Again, OHSB is saying the production company as a whole seems to be responsible here — but they go out of their way to name Halls in their remarks and findings. Their investigation was thorough … with 1,500 staff hours dedicated to sorting through all this in the aftermath.
The criminal investigation is still underway, and of course … lawsuits have been filed against Baldwin, the production company and others. Unclear how this report might affect things.