Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter in fatal 'Rust' movie set shooting

Prosecutors in the United States filed formal charges of involuntary manslaughter against actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist on Tuesday for the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a film set in New Mexico.

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who oversaw the weapons on the set of the Western film Rust, were named in charging documents filed by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

On October 21, 2021, Halyna Hutchins was shot while rehearsing at a ranch outside of Santa Fe. She did not survive her wounds. While Baldwin had Hutchins in his sights, the gun went off, fatally wounding director Joel Souza and himself.

Baldwin’s involvement as a producer and the person who fired the gun were factors in the decision to press charges, according to the prosecution.

A criminal complaint against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed was filed on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after prosecutor Carmack-Altwies first announced that the two would be prosecuted for what authorities have called a pattern of criminal disregard for safety. Over the past few weeks, she has detailed not one but two sets of involuntary manslaughter charges related to the shooting.

Baldwin is being charged with manslaughter, which carries with it a number of potential penalties and alternative norms. For killing another person “without due caution and circumspection,” the charge of manslaughter would be appropriate.

A probable cause statement detailing the evidence against Baldwin alleges numerous “extremely reckless acts” or reckless failures to take precautions in the days and minutes leading up to the fatal shooting.

The set was “really being run pretty fast and loose,” Carmack-Altwies told The Associated Press on January 19. According to her, Baldwin was aware of the set’s history of mishaps and the numerous reports of potential danger.

The court will issue a summons for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed to appear in court. A judge, rather than a grand jury, will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial instead. Any decision may take up to 60 days to make.

A Statement From Gutierrez-legal Reed's Team Is Forthcoming, They Said

Murder committed while the defendant is engaging in a lawful but risky activity and is acting negligently or without due caution can be considered involuntary manslaughter.

Assistant Director David Halls, who oversaw set safety, signed a proposed plea agreement, but the judge has not yet approved it, so the agreement cannot be made public, say prosecutors.

Halls, according to the prosecution, has already agreed to plead guilty to recklessly employing a deadly weapon. Halls may have improperly handled the firearm before handing it to Baldwin, according to the prosecution.

District Attorney Office Spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement on Monday that prosecutors are “fully focused on securing justice for Halyna Hutchins” and that “the evidence and the facts speak for themselves.”

What Happened On The “Rust” Set?

A lead projectile was fired from the vintage Colt.45 revolver the Hollywood actor was handling, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

Assistant Director David Halls allegedly assured Baldwin that the weapon was “cold,” or unloaded from live ammunition, as stated in an affidavit filed in court. As the set’s armorer, Gutierrez-Reed had a cart full of weapons that were stolen.

In the affidavit, Baldwin also denies pulling the trigger, claiming instead that he drew back and released the hammer, which caused the gun to go off.

Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, has called the charge a “smear.” “terrible miscarriage of justice,” he said, adding that his client “had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set.” He placed his faith in the experts he collaborated with.”

On Tuesday, Gutierrez-attorneys Reed’s said the prosecution “completely misunderstood the facts” and “reached the wrong conclusions.”

Both Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion have been quoted as saying, “We will fight these charges, and we expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty.”

Both Baldwin And Gutierrez-Reed Have Vowed To Fight The Allegations Against Them

Baldwin was negligent as a producer on the film, as well as in his role as an actor, according to a probable cause statement outlining the evidence against him, which alleges numerous instances of “extremely reckless acts” or reckless failures to take precautions in the days and minutes leading up to the fatal shooting.

Both Baldwin And Gutierrez-Reed Have Vowed To Fight The Allegations Against Them

According to the court documents, Baldwin skipped out on a mandatory firearms safety training session before filming began. According to Gutierrez-Reed, Baldwin “was distracted and talking on his cellphone to his family” during a short firearms training session that was supposed to last more than an hour but only lasted about 30 minutes. She said that his experience with guns was “very limited” before filming began.

The prosecution alleged that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed did not conduct a thorough check of the firearm before Baldwin handled it and that Baldwin should have known better than to point the weapon in the direction of Hutchins and Souza.

When Baldwin, the film’s producer, failed to address multiple safety issues, and when he hired Gutierrez-Reed, the production’s lead armorer, he was negligent.

Prosecutors argued that Baldwin should have had a replica gun instead of a real one because the shooting occurred during a rehearsal and not during the actual filming.

Due To Hutchins’ Tragic Passing, The Film Industry Has Implemented New Safety Measures

In an interview with The Associated Press published on January 19, Carmack-Altwies claimed that the set was “really being run pretty fast and loose” and that Baldwin was aware of the previous misfires and safety concerns raised by crew members.

Court summonses will be issued for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. Instead of convening a grand jury, the prosecution will rely on the court’s determination of whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. A final decision may take up to 60 days to be made.

Due To Hutchins' Tragic Passing, The Film Industry Has Implemented New Safety Measures

Killing someone while doing something legal but risky and acting carelessly or negligently can constitute involuntary manslaughter.

Assistant director David Halls, who was responsible for set safety, signed a proposed plea agreement, but the judge has not yet approved it, so the agreement cannot be made public, according to the prosecution.

Halls has been accused of recklessly using a firearm, and prosecutors have previously stated that Halls has agreed to plead guilty. The prosecution suggests that Halls may have been careless with the weapon before giving it to Baldwin.

Speaking for the DA’s office on Monday, Heather Brewer said, “the evidence and the facts speak for themselves,” and that the prosecution is “fully focused on securing justice for Halyna Hutchins.”

Baldwin, who was also a co-producer on “Rust,” has said that the death was a tragic accident. The actor, age 64, claims he was assured the weapon was secure and is suing those responsible for supplying the loaded.45-caliber revolver in an effort to clear his name.


Baldwin, the film’s co-producer, and Gutierrez-Reed are facing two separate counts of manslaughter, one for gross negligence and the other for ordinary negligence.

Two years in prison is the maximum sentence for each count, but using a firearm increases that to five years in one of the cases.

Within a month, the accused will receive a court summons from New Mexico prosecutors.


  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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