Alec Baldwin May Soon Face Criminal Charges in ‘Rust’ Shooting Case

by Alex Falls
Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty

Alec Baldwin could soon be facing criminal charges for the tragic accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust. The incident occurred when a gun the actor was allegedly handling fired a live round. According to The New York Post, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has been conducting its investigation and is preparing to release its final report on the shooting.

The District Attorney in Santa Fe, Mary Carmack-Altwies, filed an emergency request for more than $600,000 in funding. So her office would have the appropriate funds to prosecute up to four people in connection with the shooting incident. The identities of the four people have not been confirmed. But reports indicate that Baldwin could be one of those four people.

Carmack-Altwies said on Tuesday her office has been waiting on reports from the FBI’s own investigation. Their reports include phone calls, phone records, and interviews that have taken place in the last year. But the sheriff’s office has led the criminal investigation and is expected to release its final report within a week.

Once the sheriff’s office reveals its findings, they would then be ready to move forward with filing criminal charges against those identified in their report.

The Case Against Baldwin

Alec Baldwin has repeatedly denied firing the gun or any wrongdoing in the incident. The gun that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza was in his hands when it went off. According to the FBI’s forensic report, the gun could not have gone off without someone pulling the trigger.

Carmack-Altwies said her office’s attorneys are “certainly looking at all the homicide statutes and any gun statutes under New Mexico criminal code.” It’s currently unknown what charges Baldwin could be facing if any.

“We need an almost full-time attorney and someone who is very experienced on complex cases, and very experienced with litigation,” Carmack-Altwies said. “Additionally, that person will then need paralegal support staff. Potentially an investigator to follow up on missing pieces or finding witnesses, what have you.”

The prosecutor noted the funds would also be used to pay for expert witnesses and a public information officer to field media requests on the case. 

“Our PIO right now is also a working attorney in our office,” Carmack-Altwies said. “We do not have the capacity to handle those requests to answer emails, or even read them, and so that is why we have asked for this budget.”

Baldwin previously issued a statement vehemently denying responsibility for the shooting. He instead placed the blame on the people who handed him the gun. Prop assistant Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and assistant director Dave Halls.

“There are two people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” Baldwin said. “I’m not sitting there saying I want them to, you know, go to prison. Or I want their lives to be hell. I don’t want that. But I want everybody to know that those are the two people that are responsible for what happened.”