Alec Baldwin indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges for ‘Rust’ shooting

Alec Baldwin attends the American Museum of Natural History’s Museum Gala on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in New York.
Alec Baldwin attends the American Museum of Natural History’s Museum Gala on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in New York. | Evan Agostini, Associated Press
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A New Mexico grand jury has indicted actor Alec Baldwin on charges of fourth-degree involuntary manslaughter based on a 2021 incident resulting in the death and injury of two crew members on the set of “Rust.”

Baldwin, 65, is specifically being indicted by prosecutors for the on-set death of Halyna Hutchins, who was the cinematographer on the film, per Variety.

According to CNN, two charges have been brought against Baldwin, which are both related to the crime of involuntary manslaughter. One charge is for “negligent use of a firearm” and the other is for acting “without due caution or circumspection” — the latter of which is described as “an act committed with the total disregard or indifference to the safety of others.”

The “30 Rock” actor had initial charges brought against him in January 2022, according to the New York Post. But the following April, the charges were dropped due to a need for more examinations on the fatal prop gun. The district attorney said at the time that the charges could be refiled.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who oversaw weapons on the movie set, will be prosecuted on the same manslaughter charges as Baldwin, per the New York Post.

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The fatal 2021 ‘Rust’ shooting

On Oct. 21, 2021, while filming for the Western film “Rust,” Baldwin was practicing drawing his prop gun, and the gun discharged in the direction of Hutchins and director Joel Souza, who was injured but survived the impact, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

One of the causes of the tragic event was the mixing of several live rounds — which were placed in Baldwin’s gun — with prop rounds. It’s unknown how or why the live rounds came onto the movie set.

Last November, NBC News released five videos recorded days before the fatal shooting. The videos show Baldwin preparing for scenes and acting in character — while holding the prop gun. As it’s reported, two of the videos share moments of the actor asking crew members to move farther away out of concern for their safety.

What has been discovered since

Baldwin has stated that while he did pull back the hammer on the gun, he did not pull the trigger that caused the gun to fire, per Time.

According to the BBC, he claims to not be at fault for the death of Hutchins, as he was unaware that the weapon contained live rounds — rounds which weren’t, allegedly, allowed on set.

However, an FBI forensic report shared by ABC News says that the prop gun — a .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver — couldn’t have been fired without pulling the trigger.

As reported by Variety, the report concludes: “Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”

Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s widower, indicates he does not blame Baldwin for the incident, saying, “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin).”

If convicted of charges, Baldwin can face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine, per CNN.

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