The chief electrician on “Rust” has told how cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died in his arms after being shot by Alec Baldwin — angrily blaming “negligence and unprofessionalism” for her death and taking aim at cheap producers.
“I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life,” gaffer Serge Svetnoy wrote in an impassioned Facebook post.
“I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,” he wrote of the 42-year-old mother shot last Thursday.
“I worked with Her on almost all of her films. … We’ve shared food and water. We’ve been burning under the sun, freezing in the snow on the shoots. We took care of each other,” he wrote of their bond.
The harrowing ordeal gave him “the right” to publicly give his opinion on the tragedy, he said — insisting, “It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.”
“I’m calling out to the Producers!” he wrote of the team that includes Baldwin.
“To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well,” he wrote.
“I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen,” he insisted.
“No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!”
He said that “Rust” had “professionals in every department, but one — the department that was responsible for the weapons.”
“There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory,” he wrote of Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was on only her second job in the position, after admitting to fears she was not ready.
“Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z … They have it in their blood,” Svetnoy wrote.
“The person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!” he wrote.
“Dear Producers, by hiring professionals, you are buying peace of mind for yourself and the people around you.
“It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it,” he said.
“It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna,” he wrote.
Svetnoy does not “wish anyone to go through what I went through,” as well as the pain for her husband and son.
“And the actor Alec Baldwin. … He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people,” he wrote.
Baldwin was rehearsing a scene where he was due to pull the gun while sitting in a church pew and point the weapon at the camera.
He’d been given the loaded gun by Assistant Director David Halls who yelled “cold gun,” meaning it was safe to use in the scene, according to a search warrant obtained by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
Halls, Gutierrez Reed and Baldwin were all known to have handled the weapon before the fatal shooting, according to the warrant.
Cameraman Reid Russell told police he did not know if the gun had been checked before it was given to Baldwin. “Rust” director Joel Souza was also injured.
According to an earlier report, guns had been accidentally fired at least twice before on the New Mexico set, which had faced the threat of strike action over conditions.
Hall had also been fired from a previous job in 2019 after an “unexpected” gun discharge, it emerged Monday.