‘Rust’ Shooting: District Attorney To Announce Decision On Whether To Press Charges


The Santa Fe County district attorney plans to announce Thursday whether her office will be pressing charges relating to the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who died last year when a gun in actor Alec Baldwin’s hand fired on the set of the movie Rust.

Key Facts

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb will announce the decision through a written statement on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.

In September, the New Mexico Board of Finance granted the DA’s office over $300,000 to be used to potentially prosecute up to four people related to Hutchins’ death, and the request for the funds stated “one of the possible defendants is well known movie actor Alec Baldwin.”

Much of the investigation has focused on Baldwin, an actor and producer of the film who was holding the gun when it fired—though he has claimed he did not pull the trigger—as well as assistant director Dave Halls, who is said to have told Baldwin the gun was safe to use, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the production’s armorer, and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.

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Key Background

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Hutchins was killed on set on October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal. Live bullets were not supposed to be present anywhere on set, and the guns in the movie were supposed to be filled with empty shells or dummy rounds. But when the gun in Baldwin’s hand fired, Hutchins was shot in the chest and director Joel Souza was shot and injured in his shoulder. Production immediately shut down while authorities investigated. It’s not clear how live ammunition made it onto the set. Baldwin has said he was told by people “within the state” it’s “highly unlikely” he would be charged. Crew members have said there were gun safety issues on set, and there had been two previous misfires, according to investigation records released by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s department. DNA was collected from Baldwin, Halls, Gutierrez-Reed and Kenney. Interviews with staff members showed some had questioned Gutierrez-Reed’s experience, Baldwin’s willingness to participate in trainings and Halls’ indifference to safety, per the investigation records that were released. Matthew Hutchins, the husband of Halyna, sued Baldwin, Halls and Gutierrez-Reed and others for wrongful death, and the suit was settled in October for an undisclosed amount. Production on Rust is set to resume some time this year, and Matthew Hutchins will serve as an executive producer on the project. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department completed its investigation in October, over one year after the shooting occurred, and handed the case over to the DA.

Further Reading

The ‘Rust’ Shooting, Over One Year Later: Everything You Need To Know (Forbes)

Sheriff’s Department Releases Investigation Into ‘Rust’ Shooting—But Still No Charges Filed (Forbes)

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