SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Santa Fe District Attorney has filed formal charges against actor Alec Baldwin and film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for the fatal shooting on the set of the film “Rust.” The filing comes nearly two weeks after District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis announced her plan to move forward with prosecuting the case surrounding the on-set death of film cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
According to charging documents filed Tuesday, both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed each face one count of involuntary manslaughter for Hutchins death. Hutchins was killed at the Bonzana Creek Ranch near Santa Fe on October 21, 2021, after being shot by a gun Baldwin was handling.
As part of the filings made Tuesday, the DA also published a 10 page statement of probable cause in the case, highlighting prosecutors arguments for charging Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed and the film’s assistant director, David Halls. Halls handed Baldwin the gun which eventually killed Hutchins, while Gutierrez-Reed was in charge of weapons on the set.
Baldwin did not release an immediate comment. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles called prosecutors interpretation of the facts “misunderstood,” vowing to fight the charges. Meanwhile, DA Carmack-Altweis called the filing an “important step” in seeking justice for Hutchins, emphasizing that “no one is above the law and justice will be served.”
Naming Baldwin both an actor and producer on the “Rust” set, the probable cause statement filed against Baldwin alleges, in part, “on the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin.”
Investigators also allege that Baldwin, “by act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.”
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In a probable cause statement filed against Gutierrez-Reed, investigators allege she “directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions in the course of a very short period of time.” The statement also alleges that practices of securing props and ammunition on set “created a disorganized, chaotic environment which Reed did not address and contributed to resulting in further violations of common safety practices and standards.”
Video footage shows Baldwin was rehearsing for a scene when he pointed the gun toward the camera being operated by Hutchins. Loaded with a real bullet or “live round,” the gun went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the film’s director, Joel Souza.
The case, which is expected to be argued by special prosecutor Andrea Reeb, has been highlighted by allegations of on-set negligence. Investigators claim the gun Baldwin was handling wasn’t thoroughly checked before being handed to the actor.
In a statement on January 19, special prosecutor Reeb said “If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or [assistant director] David Halls—had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple.”
The film’s assistant director David Halls is facing a single misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon (unsafe handling). The DA’s office says Halls’ is expected to plead guilty to the charge as part of an agreement still subject to a judge’s approval. If the agreement is approved, it is expected to include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
Baldwin has maintained that the gun misfired, denying responsibility for the shooting. However, an FBI report contradicts Baldwin’s claim that the gun accidentally discharged.
Gutierrez-Reed told investigators in subsequent interviews that she didn’t know how live rounds got into the real gun. Gutierrez-Reed has filed a lawsuit in the case, in part blaming an ammo supplier in the shooting. That lawsuit is pending as of January 2023.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles provided the following statement:
The filed probable cause statement reveals that the district attorney has completely misunderstood the facts and has reached the wrong conclusions. Hannah pleaded to provide more firearms training. She was denied and brushed aside. Hannah asked to be able to perform her armorer duties more for safety reasons. She was told by production to focus on props. Hannah asked Halls if they could us a plastic gun for the rehearsal scene and he said no, wanting a “real gun.” Hannah asked to be called back into the church if Baldwin was going to use the gun at all and Halls failed to do that. Yet the district attorney has given Halls a 6 month probation misdemeanor and charged Hannah and Baldwin with felony offenses carrying at least 5 years in prison. The tragedy of this is had Hannah just been called back into the church by Halls, she would have performed the inspection and prevented this tragedy. We will fight these charges and expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty.Jason Bowles, Attorney for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed