Years before the shooting incident in “Rust,” actor Brandon Lee was killed by a pretend gun.
Involuntary manslaughter allegations against actor Alec Baldwin arise from the shooting
death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021. The incident brings to mind another on-set tragedy from over three decades ago: the unintentional shooting of actor Brandon Lee while shooting The Crow.
History of death
Lee, the son of martial artist Bruce Lee, passed away on March 30, 1993, in Wilmington,
North Carolina, after his co-star, actor Michael Massee, shot at him with a toy gun. The blank cartridge in the handgun, which was loaded with blanks, caught fire due to the gunpowder igniting, causing Massee to unintentionally fire a bullet fragment at Lee, who eventually passed away in surgery.
Although Lee’s mother was successful in suing filmmakers for an undisclosed sum, Massee was not charged criminally.
Decades later, while making the movie Rust, Baldwin shot Hutchins with a live cartridge
from a Colt.45-caliber pistol. Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and Baldwin, who
maintains he had no intention of shooting at Hutchins, settled a wrongful death lawsuit
brought by Baldwin against individuals responsible for handling and providing the prop
Baldwin and another member of the Rust team would be charged with a crime for their part in the cinematographer’s demise, according to Santa Fe, New Mexico authorities.
“unusual” and “difficult to prove.”
It is sometimes up to the acting prosecutor’s discretion whether to file criminal charges in the deaths of Lee and Hutchinson, according to Nancy Gertner, a trial lawyer, retired judge, and senior lecturer at Harvard Law School. She referred to Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter charge as “strange” and “tough to prove,” adding that it was also “unique.”
Nobody wanted this to happen, according to Gertner. Therefore, these accusations are only brought against people who have engaged in the most egregious forms of irresponsibility, the most reckless behaviour, and the greatest departure from accepted norms.
Views of the incident
Gertner emphasizes how other crew members handled and managed the pistol before it was in Baldwin’s hands, including the movie’s armourer, who is also accused of involuntary murder.
According to the continuum, “there are people here who had direct accountability for that gun
who failed in that responsibility.” Baldwin is the least responsible on that line, according to
one way of looking at it.
Gertner claimed that the prosecution is speculating that Baldwin had a bigger role in the
death than initially to demonstrate Baldwin’s guilt. She also mentioned the possible
influences on the prosecutors’ choice that social media and “the tremendous crush of
publicity” may have.
Was the Lee case going to be featured on television, Twitter, and other prominent outlets
every single night, in other words? said Gertner. “Does that put prosecutors under pressure in a way that has never been applied before? That may make a difference.”
In contrast to the Brandon Lee case, he stated, “I don’t think we know enough about the
forensics of the incident yet. “And some potential results from additional research or real trial testimony, in the Baldwin case, would more sharply distinguish the situations,” the author continued.
Weisberg brought up the labour disputes with the Rust production company. Several crew members reportedly left the site before the shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times, while other sources told the publication that shooting safety procedures weren’t being followed.
“A jury could infer, ‘Well, on that basis, he should have thought twice, or three times, about the gun,'” Weisberg said. “Even if there hadn’t been incidents on that set about that particular gun, butcher, you should have done an inference: ‘We’re not running the set very well. And I better really be careful here.'”
Better procedures for utilizing prop guns on set are now required as a result of the incident that resulted in Lee’s death. Shannon Lee, a martial artist, told Agence France-Presse in 2021 that actors should be obliged to undergo obligatory gun safety training as a result of her brother’s passing.
Lee told the news organization “It shouldn’t happen again.”
Gertner added that Baldwin’s guilt may be increased by prior claims of equipment being
carelessly handled on set.
So, she continued, “it too might have set this case apart from the Lee case.” “You become
much more responsible if you continue to speed after someone complains that you speed