The film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who handled the gun, faces the same charges, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement.
On October 21, 2021, this New Mexico ranch shooting had turned tragic when Alec Baldwin had activated a gun that was supposed to contain only blanks, but whose very real projectile had killed cameraman Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injured the director, Joel Souza.
This rare news had shocked Hollywood and had a powerful impact, sparking calls for firearms to be banned on the sets.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on the set of Rust on October 21, 2021.
Photo: (Andres Leighton/The Associated Press)
Up to 18 months in prison if convicted
“After carefully reviewing the evidence and New Mexico law, I felt there was sufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust film crew,” said Mary Carmack-Altwies.
Under my watch, no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice, she added.
Prosecutors said charges would be formally filed by the end of the month. Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed face up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
Alec Baldwin, 64, always said he was assured his gun was harmless. Executive assistant David Halls, who gave him the gun and told him it was safe, pleaded guilty to negligence in using a deadly weapon.
The 30-year-old rock star also claimed he didn’t pull the trigger, a claim experts doubt.
In particular, the police investigation focused on finding out how live ammunition could be found on the theoretically strictly forbidden set, precisely to avoid accidents. Authorities have concluded that the gunfight’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, placed the ammunition in the gun used by Alec Baldwin instead of a dummy bullet.
A miscarriage of justice, according to Alec Baldwin’s attorney
Alex Baldwin’s attorney responded to his client’s charges by denouncing a horrific miscarriage of justice.
This decision misrepresents the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a horrific miscarriage of justice, said Luke Nikas. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was live ammunition in the gun or anywhere else at the shooting scene.
In August, the actor said he didn’t expect anyone to be charged and told CNN he had hired a private investigator to investigate the case.
The tragedy led to a series of civil lawsuits from several team members.
In October, Alec Baldwin announced that he had reached a settlement ending the civil lawsuits brought by Ms Hutchins’ family. The amount of this agreement was not disclosed. Filming on Rust has been announced to resume in 2023.