Alec Baldwin to be charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting on the set of ‘Rust,’ D.A. says

Oscar-nominated actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western movie “Rust,” prosecutors said Thursday.

Baldwin and the film’s armorer who was in charge of weapons on the set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will each face two counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

“Rust” first assistant director, David Halls, has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to Carmack-Altwies’ office.

“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement.

“On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

Hutchins was fatally shot nearly 15 months ago during the filming of “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was rehearsing with a pistol for a scene set inside a church when the gun went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

Hutchins, 42, was survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their 9-year-old son, Aldous.

The announcement about charges came three months after the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Office submitted its investigative findings to prosecutors.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in April that he believed there was a “degree of neglect” on the set of “Rust.” But he left decisions about criminal charges to the district attorney’s office.

The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021.
The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021.Jae C. Hong / AP file

In early October, Hutchins’ husband reached a settlement in his wrongful death lawsuit against the producers of “Rust,” including Baldwin. Matthew Hutchins said in a statement that filming would resume in January and he would join the project as an executive producer as part of the agreement.

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin said in an Instagram post after the settlement was announced. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator determined that the shooting was an accident based on autopsy results and a review of law enforcement documents, according to The Associated Press.

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in December 2021, Baldwin gave his first public account of the fatal shooting and claimed that he did not pull the trigger. He forcefully insisted that he was not to blame and said he did not feel guilty about the incident.

“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is,” he said. “But I know it’s not me.”

Baldwin added that, if he could, he “would go to any lengths to undo what happened.”

“Rust,” set in Kansas in the 1880s, stars Baldwin as a graying outlaw who goes on the run with his estranged grandson after the boy accidentally kills a local rancher, according to a plot synopsis on the Internet Movie Database.

Souza is expected to return as the director when filming picks back up this month. He previously directed the under-the-radar independent crime dramas “Crown Vic” and “Break Night.”

Baldwin is a prolific actor known for playing executive Jack Donaghy in the NBC sitcom “30 Rock,” impersonating former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” and appearing in films such as “Beetlejuice” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

He was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for “The Cooler,” released in 2003.

Dennis Romero and David K. Li contributed.

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