Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter for Rust shooting

Alec Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. 

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and Rust Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced the charges in a written statement today. 

Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face a maximum of 18 months in prison if convicted. Dave Halls, the Assistant Director, has pleaded guilty to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. 

‘If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls—had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. 

‘It’s that simple,’ said Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor appointed by the DA to the case. 

Baldwin is yet to respond to the charges. He has not been seen today, but his glamorous wife Hilaria put on a brave face for the school run shortly before the announcement.  

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Baldwin is seen on October 21, 2021, after speaking to investigators about the fatal shooting

Baldwin is seen on October 21, 2021, after speaking to investigators about the fatal shooting

Assistant Director Dave Halls

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Assistant Director Dave Halls and Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. He has pleaded guilty to a single charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and she has been charged with involuntary manslaughter 

‘The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.

‘In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously, ‘ she added. 

Prosecutors have not formally filed the charges – they will do so by the end of the month. 

‘There is a very clear process for pursuing justice in this case. We are committed to upholding the integrity of that process to ensure equal justice under the law,’ Carmack-Altwies added.

After that, the three defendants will have to make a first appearance but they will be allowed to do so virtually.  

Baldwin, 64, accidentally shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie in October 2021. 

In the 15 months that have passed, he emphatically denied responsibility for the accident, insisting he did not pull the trigger, despite a forensic FBI analysis of the prop gun he used concluding that he did. 

Halyna Hutchins was shot dead on October 21, 2021, by actor Alec Baldwin

Halyna Hutchins was shot dead on October 21, 2021, by actor Alec Baldwin 

Baldwin (left) with Hutchins and other actors from the film before the fatal accident

Baldwin (left) with Hutchins and other actors from the film before the fatal accident 

Baldwin was sued by Halyna’s widower, Matthew, in 2022 but settled the lawsuit with an undisclosed sum. 

He also made Matthew an executive producer on the film, which will resume production in Los Angeles. 

Prosecutors have resisted criticism of the long delay in making a decision. 

They say they were forced to wait for reports from both the FBI – which took ten months – and the local Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office – which took a year. 

There was no press conference to announce the decision today. 

Instead, the DA’s office issued a written statement to media which was also published online. 

Along with Baldwin, several others were on the hook for charges. 

They are Assistant Director Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun for the fatal scene, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a young, ‘careless’ armorer who was in charge of loading the weapons and checking that the rounds were blunt and not live and Seth Kenney, the most reclusive of the group, who was the owner of the prop-shop used by the production. 

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Hilaria Baldwin emerges from her NYC apartment on Thursday while awaiting a decision from Santa Fe prosecutors on whether her husband, Alec, will be charged over the Rust shooting 

Halls has never spoken in the media, but he counter-sued Baldwin last year and denied responsibility. 

Gutierrez-Reed denied responsibility repeatedly in a series of statements from her attorney. 

Kenney has been the quietest, shying away from the ferocious public attention on the case. 

But in his first police interview, he immediately blamed the incident on Gutierrez-Reed. 

‘She wanted to shoot live ammo out of the guns, the TV movie guns. I said no f——- way obviously. And then she acknowledged. 

‘Down below, right, you did see where she said I’m going to shoot them out of mine now,’ he said, referring to texts between the pair. 

The key pieces of Rust shooting evidence that led prosecutors to charge Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter

OCTOBER 21 – THE SHOOTING 

While filming their Western movie Rust on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Alec Baldwin accidentally shot Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza on-set. 

Baldwin had been practicing drawing his gun from his holster. 

The bullet pierced Souza’s shoulder but fired directly into Hutchins’ chest. 

She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead, to the shock and horror of the film cast and crew. 

ALLEGATIONS OF AN UNSAFE SET AND WALK-OFFS BY DISGRUNTLED CREW 

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it emerged that the production had been plagued with staff complaints. 

Days before the incident, several members of the crew even walked-off set. 

Their complaints included concerns over Dave Halls, the assistant director, who’d been accused in the past of running unsafe sets. 

Some said they were forced to sleep in their cars next to the set, because hotel rooms next to the set were too expensive. Instead, their rooms were booked in Santa Fe, which is a 30 minute drive from Bonanza Creek Ranch, the location of the set. 

They also complained about long hours, and claimed they weren’t receiving pay checks on time. 

Almost immediately, attention turned to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a 24-year-old whose father was well-known in the industry, who had slim experience in the role. 

A YOUNG, ‘CARELESS’ ARMORER 

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, found herself at the center of the scandal almost immediately. 

Her track record emerged quickly, with former colleagues rushing to talk about how ‘careless’ she was on past sets, how she’d ‘waved guns around’ and had even handed one to  child actress. 

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, found herself at the center of the scandal almost immediatel

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, found herself at the center of the scandal almost immediatel

She hired a group of attorneys who immediately started firing out statements to combat the claims. 

HUTCHINS’ FAMILY TURN ON BALDWIN AND SUE 

It’s impossible to deny the grief and angst written all over Baldwin when he learned Hutchins had died. 

He was standing in the parking lot of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, having just been interviewed, and was photographed by a photographer for the local newspaper as he buckled in shock and tears while on the phone. 

Hutchins with her son and her husband Matthew

Hutchins with her son and her husband Matthew

Shortly afterwards, he released a statement saying: ‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hucthins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.

‘I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how his tragedy occurred.’ 

Initially, Hutchins’ widower Matthew said Baldwin had been ‘supportive’. 

But in February 2022, he sued the actor along with other Rust producers, citing ‘reckless behavior and cost-cutting’ that they claimed contributed to her death. 

Baldwin settled with Hutchins out of court, agreeing to make him an executive producer on the movie once production resumes. 

BALDWIN’S POLICE INTERVIEW – HE INSISTS HE ‘COCKED’ THE GUN BUT DIDN’T PULL THE TRIGGER

Baldwin insisted to police that he had been told the gun was ‘cold’ when it was handed to him and, crucially, that he did not pull the trigger. 

‘We’ve done this for two weeks and we’ve done it the right way every day. Right before you shoot. I went to lunch. ‘She disarmed me – Hannah – she always handled the gun. I come back, they hand me the revolver – Hannah – they arm me. You’re assuming it’s a cold gun. I put the gag in the shot. 

‘I take the gun out , as it clears – I turn and cock the gun and the gun goes off. It’s supposed to be a cold gun. Bang, she [Hutchins] hits the ground. [Joel Souza] goes down, screaming going “Jesus Christ!”

‘I have never seen this before… What came out of that bullet that went through her shoulder?…. She was right in front of me,’ he said. 

Towards the end of the interview, Baldwin is shown a photograph of what was removed from Souza’s shoulder. 

Shocked, he says: ‘That’s a bullet. Somebody put a live bullet in the gun.’

He is then quizzed.

‘Did you see the rounds in the gun?’

‘No.’

‘Have you seen what they look like?’

‘I’ve watched her load and reload the gun many times.’

‘Have you seen the bullets?’

‘Sometimes the head is a casing, it’s pinched and closed at the top and you put the cosmetic round in when you know you’re going to see… those clay based rounds look exactly like a bullet.

‘So cosmetically you see that in the cylinder. I am very upset right now… forgive me.’ 

BALDWIN’S PR OFFENSIVE – ACTOR DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SHOOTING IN DRAMATIC ABC INTERVIEW THAT ‘P****D OFF’ HALYNA’S HUSBAND 

In December 2021, Baldwin – who’d maintained somewhat of a dignified silence – went on the offensive. 

He sat down for an interview with ABC where he emphatically denied pulling the trigger and said he didn’t feel responsible for it because it wasn’t his fault. 

‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but it’s not me.

‘Honest to God, if I thought I was responsible I might have killed myself. And I don’t say that lightly.’

Alec Baldwin, 63, spoke to George Stephanopoulos for an interview which aired on Thursday

Alec Baldwin, 63, spoke to George Stephanopoulos for an interview which aired on Thursday

Baldwin, after the interview aired, posted to Instagram a photo of him cradling one of his six young children.

‘No matter what happens to me. No matter what I suffer. If I win or lose, anything. Anything. No one can take away from me the joy and love you have given me, @hilariabaldwin,’ he wrote.

‘These are tough times. The world is choked with fumes of hate. But you have given me a reason to live. Our life with our family is all I care about. Nothing else. I owe that to you.’

Halyna’s husband was outraged. 

‘How’s He Not Responsible?’ he said in his own interview with NBC. 

VIDEO RECREATION OF THE SHOOTING PRODUCED BY HALYNA’S FAMILY’S LAWYERS 

Furious about Baldwin’s ABC interview and desperate for answers, Halyna’s widower and his attorneys commissioned a dramatic, CGI video recreation of the incident. 

The video showed Baldwin cocking his gun and it firing suddenly –  going straight through Halyna’s chest and grazing Joel Souza’s shoulder. 

FBI RELEASES DAMNING REPORT WHICH CLAIMS BALDWIN DID PULL THE TRIGGER 

In August 2022, the FBI released its damning report into the case. 

The key takeaway was its finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was. 

The FBI said that in testing, it was possible for the gun to fire without the pull of a trigger if the gun was not cocked – but Baldwin had insisted that it was.  

It was the most devastating finding possible for Baldwin, who had so emphatically denied  pulling the trigger.

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The key takeaway was its finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was.

The key takeaway was its finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was.

His attorneys immediately went to work to deny it, insisting that it was not a trusted finding and that the reasons behind it were shaky, saying the FBI were only able to make it fire once in testing, after pulling the trigger, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was lying. 

‘The FBI report is being misconstrued. The gun fired in testing only one time –without having to pull the trigger — when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places. 

‘The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition,’ his attorneys said.

POLICE INTERVIEWS 

In their own police interviews, Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and Kenney tried to blame each other or Baldwin. 

Seth Kenney insisted that the fault lies with Gutierrez-Reed, who he said was trigger happy and eager to fire live rounds. 

‘She wanted to shoot live ammo out of the guns, the TV movie guns. I said no f——- way obviously. And then she acknowledged. 

‘Down below, right, you did see where she said I’m going to shoot them out of mine now,’ he said, referring to texts between the pair. 

She told police that the fault lay with Baldwin, who was ‘distracted’ and ‘on his phone’ during training. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11653589/Alec-Baldwin-charged-involuntary-manslaughter-Rust-shooting.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter for Rust shooting

Emma Colton

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