Alec Baldwin Embraces Husband of Slain Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in New Mexico
Rachel Mason, a close friend of Hutchins, tells Inside Edition she spoke to Baldwin and does not blame him for the incident. Attorney Royal Oakes discusses potential legal ramifications that could stem from the case.
It was an intense and heartbreaking meeting as Alec Baldwin embraced the husband of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by the actor last week while rehearsing a scene on the set of “Rust.”
The two were seen outside a hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, over the weekend. Hutchins’ son, 9-year-old Andros, was also there and is said to be "very badly affected" and "lost without his mother.”
Rachel Mason, a close friend of Hutchins, tells Inside Edition she does not blame Baldwin for what happened.
“Alec Baldwin is not a murderer. He is not a murderer. In some ways, he’s a victim of this mess, which was sloppy and crazy and irresponsible,” Mason said.
She says she spoke with Baldwin about the shooting.
“Knowing that he was the person that pulled the trigger, I wanted to reach out and say, ‘I just want you to know, my heart breaks with you here.’ And he was incredibly gracious. He called me and we just — you know, he’s a decent guy,” Mason said.
More information is coming out about the harrowing incident. A leaked search warrant reveals that Baldwin was "practicing removing a revolver from its holster and aiming toward the camera” when the gun went off.
The movie's director, Joel Souza, was quoted as telling police he heard “what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop." Then Hutchins "grabbed her midsection (and) stumbled backward." She said she "couldn’t feel her legs."
Attorney Royal Oakes spoke to Inside Edition about whether Baldwin and other crew members could face legal consequences.
“Alec Baldwin's potential legal exposure is two parts. He could be convicted of a crime, but it's unlikely. Much more likely is he'll be sued for wrongful death and millions could be awarded,” Oakes said.
Investigators are said to be focusing on Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who worked as the movie's armorer. Also in police sights is assistant director Dave Halls.
An affidavit says Gutierrez-Reed set three vintage guns "on a cart.” Halls then took one revolver — a Colt pistol — and handed it to Baldwin, calling out "cold gun,” meaning he thought it did not have live rounds.
“In a criminal case, the charge against the armorer and assistant director would be involuntary manslaughter. They didn't intend to kill, but a death resulted from their reckless behavior,” Oakes said.
Over the weekend, thousands memorialized the slain cinematographer at vigils in New Mexico and California.
There are growing calls to ban all firearms from TV and movie sets, even when they shoot blanks. Actress Olivia Wilde is urging other celebs to sign the petition, tweeting, “Hollywood: it’s time to create "Halyna's Law,” which will...create a safe working environment for everyone involved."
It's already leading to changes. The showrunner of ABC’s cop-drama "The Rookie" announced, “There will be no more 'live' weapons on the show" and instead will rely on airsoft guns and computer-generated effects.
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