Alec Baldwin, armorer formally charged in fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies formally filed charges against Alec Baldwin and two others affiliated with the Western “Rust” Tuesday.

The special prosecutor in the case, Andrea Reeb, said a series of missteps and negligence killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

“It’s a totality of the evidence. So it’s kind of a, a recipe for disaster is kind of how I describe it,” Reeb said. “There were live rounds on the set. In many, many different places. There was a lack of safety, safety meetings being held, proper protocol wasn’t being followed on checking the firearms, ammunition was just stored out in public for everybody. Just a lot of things happening that didn’t seem really safe.”

The district attorney announced earlier this month that involuntary manslaughter charges would be filed.

“Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional crime,” Carmack-Altwies said in an exclusive interview with KOB 4. “It’s not, there’s no intent to kill. And so a lot of times with these kinds of cases, you have to look at all those all of the surrounding circumstances to really figure out where people being just lazy and complacent, or were they being reckless, and we believe that they were being reckless, particularly with regard to guns.”

Along with the charging documents, the district attorney’s office also released statements further explaining their decision to charge Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. They said evidence shows Baldwin did not show up for required firearms training before filming started – and had little training, even when Gutierrez-Reed asked that he have more.

The statement also said evidence shows Baldwin did not ask for at least two safety checks between the armorer and himself before filming with the gun.

Prosecutors said Baldwin knew the first rule of gun safety is to never point a gun at someone you don’t intend to shoot, and to always assume a gun is loaded – but he pointed the gun toward Hutchins and “Rust” director Joel Souza anyway.

Prosecutors also pointed to other shows and movies Baldwin has done, where they said he did not properly handle firearms. They also claimed that as a producer for “Rust,” Baldwin should have better addressed safety on his own set.

Prosecutors said hiring Gutierrez-Reed was probably not the best call on his part. In the court documents, they explain she did not have certification, proper training, or a union card to act as lead armorer on set. According to prosecutors, Gutierrez-Reed was not qualified for the job and failed to demand the required safety and training protocols to keep everyone on set safe.

At one point, Gutierrez-Reed reportedly loaded blanks into a rifle before giving it to a stunt performer to use unsupervised, and that allegedly led to one of the multiple negligent discharges of firearm during the filming of “Rust.”

Prosecutors also filed charges against the film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, who has agreed to a plea deal. The agreement is not yet available at this time, pending a judge’s approval.

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, shared the following statement with KOB 4 on Jan. 19:

“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”