Prosecutors have officially charged Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Tuesday saw the formalization of charges against Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who face two counts of involuntary manslaughter. These accusations were made public by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies on January 19th.
Baldwin was charged as both an actor and producer of the film Rust, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As an experienced actor, Baldwin should’ve been aware that the gun he had was loaded with actual bullets and remembered to abide by “the first rule of gun safety is never to point a gun at someone you don’t intend on shooting,” according to the statement of probable cause. They also claim Baldwin waved off “required firearms training prior to the commencement of filming,” even “after [Gutierrez-Reed] requested more training.”
“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” the statement goes on. “Baldwin acted with willful disregard of the safety of others and in a manner which endangered other people.”
Prosecutors went on to say Baldwin “contributed to or failed to mitigate or address multiple significant safety violations.” This included previous mistakes and developed an unsafe environment by recruiting Gutierrez-Reed to be the primary armorer.
Alec Baldwin is also under scrutiny for allowing the hiring of an inexperienced armorer
Robert Shilling, a special investigator for the district attorney’s office elaborated on his finding in a statement. “As the producer of a firearm intense film, evidence shows that Baldwin allowed, through acts or omissions, the hiring of inexperienced and unqualified [Gutierrez-Reed] for this production, failed to mitigate or establish more precautions to protect against [Gutierrez-Reed’s] inexperience, or failed to demand the minimum safety standards, protocols, and requirements on set,” Shilling wrote. On January 19th, the district attorney’s office confirmed that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would not face arrest.
On October 21st, 2021, while on the set of the film, Baldwin handled an old-fashioned revolver. It suddenly discharged leading to her death. Hall handed Baldwin the gun, saying it had no live rounds; yet when pulled, the trigger discharged a bullet toward Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Though Souza was also injured, no charges were filed in regard to that. Unaccountably, five live rounds were discovered in tandem with dummy rounds on set following the shooting. It is not known how these live bullets wound up there.
Prosecutors accuse Gutierrez-Reed of overlooking gun safety rules, not inspecting the rounds she loaded into firearms, and permitting live bullets on set. They also allege that instead of personally delivering a firearm with checked rounds to Baldwin in front of assistant director David Halls after checking it herself, she improperly passed off custody by giving it to Halls.