Actor Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed will be “charged in the alternative” with involuntary manslaughter for the deadly 2021 shooting on the New Mexico set of his Western film “Rust.”
Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb made the announcement in a brief statement Thursday morning.
“Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be ‘charged in the alternative’ with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not simply if they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty,” tweeted Carmack-Altwies.
The decision comes more than a year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in the accidental shooting on Oct. 21, 2021. She was participating in a rehearsal for a scene inside the Bonanza Creek Ranch, located on the outskirts of Santa Fe, when she was struck by a prop gun, handled by leading man Baldwin.
Hutchins was pronounced dead a short time later. Director Joel Souza was also wounded in the gunfire.
Souza said Baldwin was seated in a church pew, practicing a move in which he whips a pistol from his holster and aims it directly “towards the camera lens.” Hutchins and Souza meanwhile were checking camera angles.
In the moments before the deadly shooting, first assistant director Dave Halls handed the firearm to Baldwin and called out “cold gun” to let the crew know no live rounds were being used, according to a search warrant affidavit. The prop weapon was also handled by Gutierrez Reed, who has faced intense scrutiny in wake of the shooting.
Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of weapons on the set, has long maintained that she did not put a live round in the gun that killed Hutchins and believes she is the victim of sabotage. Authorities said they’ve found no evidence of that.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, who led the initial investigation into Hutchins’ death, described “a degree of neglect” on the film set, but left decisions about potential criminal charges to prosecutors.
With News Wire Services
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