Alec Baldwin should have used fake gun on ‘Rust’ set, prosecutor says
Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of Halyna Hutchins. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the set’s armorer, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Alec Baldwin received only minimal firearms training and should have used a plastic or replica gun instead of a real Colt .45 that he fired, killing the director of photography on the set of Rust, prosecutors said in filing formal criminal charges against the actor and producer.
Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of Halyna Hutchins. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the set’s armorer, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter. Assistant Director David Hall was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Baldwin was practicing a scene in the film in October 2021, drawing and pointing the weapon while sitting in a church. He drew the revolver from his holster, pointed it at Hutchins and fired, according to a statement of probable cause filed by the district attorney’s office. The bullet struck Hutchins and exited her back, then struck Joel Souza, the director and writer, according to the filing. Hutchins was killed. Souza was wounded.
“In a rehearsal, a plastic gun or replica gun should be used as no firing of blanks is required,” Robert Shilling, special investigator in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, district attorney’s office, wrote in the probable cause report. “Evidence shows Baldwin failed to appear for mandatory firearms training and firearms safety training prior to filming.”
The actor, who has appeared in at least 40 films that involved the use of firearms, had a 30-minute training session on the set, but he was distracted, talking on his mobile phone with family, according to the filing.
Baldwin has said in media interviews that he never fired the gun and that it just went off.
That claim is disputed by video and photo evidence, which shows Baldwin had his finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger, while manipulating the hammer and pointing the weapon, according to the statement of probable cause.
The FBI determined there was a total of six “live” rounds in various locations on the Rust set, including the fired bullet, according to the report.
Arraignments for all three defendants are to be held within 30 days.
- Alec Baldwin