Crime and Safety

Alec Baldwin, a gunsmith charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Halina Hutchins’ Rust.

Prosecutors said Thursday that Alec Baldwin will face criminal charges in connection with the Rust shooting that killed cinematographer Galina Hutchins.

New Mexico prosecutors will charge Baldwin and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reid with two federal counts of manslaughter in connection with the death of Hutchins on the set of Rust in October 2021, when a real bullet was loaded into a fake gun.

Assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin a loaded gun, accepted the misdemeanor charge as part of a plea deal.

“If even one of these three people – Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reid or David Halls – had done their job, Halina Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple,” Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb said.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be charged “alternatively,” meaning the jury will decide which of the two charges – manslaughter or manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act – they are guilty or not guilty of. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Oltvis, who will file the charges, said that after “a thorough examination of the evidence and the law… I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust.” ‘ The team involved in the making of the film.”

“Before my eyes, no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice,” she said in a written statement.

The long-awaited decision to file charges against the 30 Rock star and two others comes after a thorough investigation found they were all partly responsible for the shooting that killed married mom Hutchins, 42, and wounded director Joel Souza, 49 years old.

Prosecutors said each defendant will receive a pre-trial hearing within 60 days to determine if there is a good reason to go to trial.

During the initial investigation, detectives from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office said they found a mixture of dummies and live ammunition scattered throughout the set, in violation of industry safety standards. At the time, Carmack-Oltwis said that determining how live ammunition made it to the set “will be one of the most important factors influencing the loading decision.”

Gutierrez-Reid, the gunsmith in charge of ammunition and weapons on set, repeatedly denied any involvement in the shooting. In January 2022, she filed a lawsuit against the company supplying the props, alleging that she was selling blanks and lives mixed together.

At the time of the shooting, Baldwin was sitting on a bench in a mock church at Bonanza Creek Ranch and rehearsing a cross draw, with Hutchins and Souza behind the camera.

Alec Baldwin was facing criminal charges in connection with the shooting that killed Halina Hutchins on the set of the film. "Rust" in New Mexico in 2021.
Alec Baldwin has been charged with criminal charges in connection with the shooting that killed Halina Hutchins on the set of Rust in New Mexico in 2021.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office / ZUMA Press Wire Service
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Oltwis said the decision to charge Baldwin and three others came after nearly a year of investigation.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Oltvis said the decision to charge Baldwin and two other people came after nearly a year of investigation.
AP Photo / Andres Leighton, file

During rehearsal, he pulled out a pistol, pointed it straight at the camera, and he fired a single bullet that hit both Hutchins and Souza.

The Emmy Award winner has repeatedly denied pulling the trigger, saying the gun went off by accident, but an FBI forensic report released in August concluded that the firearm could not have fired unless someone didn’t pull the trigger.

Sousa told police that he remembered the phrase “cold gun” while preparing for the scene, indicating that the firearm was not loaded and safe to use, but he could not remember if the gun was checked before it was handed over to Baldwin.

The shooting occurred while Baldwin was rehearsing for a gun scene.
The shooting occurred while Baldwin was rehearsing for a gun scene.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file

Halls admitted to police that he “should have checked” all the bullets inside the barrel after Gutirrez-Reed handed it to him.

“David reported that when Hannah showed him the firearm before rehearsing, he could only remember three rounds. He advised to check them all, but did not do so and could not remember if she was spinning the drum, ”the detectives wrote in a search warrant application filed last fall.

When asked about on-set safety protocols regarding firearms, Hall told police that the gunsmith would typically “roll the drum” and check to make sure there were no live rounds before handing it over.

The shooting killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
The shooting killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
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“I check the barrel for blockages, there is basically no live fire, [Hannah] opens the hatch and spins the drum and I say cold gun on set,” Halls told authorities.

During Gutierrez-Reid’s interview with police officers, she told investigators that she checked the “dummies” and “made sure they weren’t ‘hot’ rounds,” the affidavit said.

“Hannah suggested giving the gun to Alec Baldwin a couple of times and also giving it to David Halls. When [a detective] When asked about live ammunition on set, Hannah replied that live ammunition is never stored on set,” the statement said.

After the bullet hit two crew members, Halls picked up the gun from the bench where Baldwin was sitting and handed it to Gutiérrez-Reid.

The rookie gunsmith was ordered to “open” the gun so that Halls could see what was inside, and he recalled seeing at least four “dummy” shells with a hole in the side, “and one without a hole,” the affidavit says.

“He said that there was no “cap” on this cartridge, but only a sleeve. David said the incident was not a deliberate act.”

According to the search warrant, when the crew took a break for lunch on the day of the shooting, the firearm was secured in the truck, but during lunch, Gutiérrez told police that the ammunition “was left on the cart on the set, not secured.” says in the document.

Baldwin with Hutchins and others on set "Rust."

Baldwin with Hutchins and others on the set of Rust.


Baldwin moments after the fatal shooting.


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Baldwin claimed he did not pull the trigger on the gun.

Baldwin claimed he did not pull the trigger on the gun.


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In February, the Hutchins family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, alleging that the actor was responsible for the director’s death because he was “a man holding a gun.”

“I think it’s clear what happened,” Hatchin family lawyer Brian Panish said at a press conference in Los Angeles after the lawsuit was filed.

“He had a gun, he says he pulled the trigger, he fired and she was killed. … The experts will review it and make any decisions, but we do not think that this was caused by any defect in the weapon.”

The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in October.

As part of the settlement, Hutchins’ widow, Matthew, was also named the film’s executive producer.

Randy McGinn, an Albuquerque attorney who also represents the Hutchins family, said she was confident a jury in New Mexico would be able to sort out the complexity of the case.

“We’re used to people coming from out of town playing cowboys who don’t know how to handle guns,” McGinn said.

“Jurors in Santa Fe are used to this and understand that even on a men’s ranch, no one should be given a weapon until you give a safety briefing. … No one should ever die with a real gun on a fictional movie set.”

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