Rust Gaffer Says He Held Halyna Hutchins 'While She Was Dying,' Blames Her Death on 'Negligence'
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' colleague on the set of Rust is revealing his account of the tragic shooting that took her life last week.
Serge Svetnoy, who served as the electrician on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie, wrote in an emotional Facebook post that he was standing next to Halyna, 42, when she was shot and killed by Baldwin on the set of the film on Thursday.
In a lengthy account titled "My vision of the RUST tragedy," Svetnoy wrote he is "very grateful to everyone" who has reached out to him with their "words of support and condolences."
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"Yes, I knew Halyna, not for a year. I worked with Her on almost all of her films. Sometimes 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. "Yes, I can say with 100% confidence she was my friend. WAS!!!"
Svetnoy explained he had received "many calls" from outlets for accounts of what occurred the day the incident took place.
"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," he said. "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," Svetnoy wrote. "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!"
Police have not confirmed the allegations made by Svetnoy in his post, nor has there been any official finding of negligence to date. A source close to the production of the film told PEOPLE, "Ten days into production, three full set safety meetings were held, including one the morning of the incident."
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Svetnoy dedicated the last half of his post to producers working in Hollywood.
"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. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!"
"And finally, dear Producers, 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!" he wrote, adding, "I also want to thank the camera operator @Ried Russell, who was with us and helped save Halyna. Thank you to the set medic @Cherlyn Schaefer who did everything she could to save Halyna's life. We all loved Halyna. May God Bless her soul. Rest in Peace. And God protect Us All."
On Thursday, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of Rust in New Mexico Hutchins and director Joel Souza were "shot when a prop firearm was discharged" by Baldwin.
Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died from her injuries, according to the sheriff's department.
Souza was treated for his injuries at Christus St. Vincent's hospital on Thursday night, officials said. On Friday, Souza was released.
Baldwin first spoke out regarding the incident on Friday morning, writing on Twitter, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours."
"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family," he continued. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."