'Rust' Chief Electrician Blames Shooting on 'Negligence and Unprofessionalism' in Scathing Facebook Post

Rust's chief electrician, Serge Svetnoy, wrote a blunt Facebook post on Sunday about the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Svetnoy blamed the tragedy on the film's armorer, and on the producers for hiring them in the first place. Like many others, he seemed to absolve star Alec Baldwin.

Hutchins was shot and killed on Thursday, Oct. 21 while working on the upcoming western film Rust. Baldwin fired a prop gun which he believed to be loaded with blanks, but it contained live rounds which mortally wounded Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. Svetnoy's post is one of the most direct comments on the tragedy from an eyewitness, and he seemed to blame 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed. He did not call out Reed by name, but left little doubt about whom he was talking.

"I have received hundreds of calls, text messages, letters with words of support and condolences since the day of the tragedy with Halyna Hutchins, and I'm very grateful to everyone," Svetnoy began, in a long post he titled "My vision of the RUST tragedy." He continued: "Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands. I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it. It's the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism."

"The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; 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!" Svetnoy went on. "I'm sure that we had the 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; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field. I'm sure that we had the 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; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field."

My vision of the RUST tragedy I have received hundreds of calls, text messages, letters with words of support and...

Posted by Serge Svetnoy on Sunday, October 24, 2021

"I'm calling out the Producers!" Svetnoy went on. "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. I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen. There should always be at least one professional in each department who knows the job. It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna."

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Svetnoy stated his sympathies and condolences for Hutchins' husband Matt and her son Andros, as well as for Baldwin himself. He also thanked some colleagues by name who he identified as true professionals in his estimation. Svetnoy addressed the producers again by saying: "please remember that it's not you who are giving the opportunities to the people you hire make their money; it's the people you hire who help You make Your money. Remember this!"