American actor Alec Baldwin, who wrote a fatal shooting on the set of the 2021 movie “Rust,” will be charged with manslaughter, a prosecutor announced Thursday.
The gunwoman in the film, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who handled the gun, faces the same charges, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement.
On October 21, 2021, this shooting at a ranch in New Mexico turned tragic, Mr. Baldwin fired the weapon, which contained only blank bullets, but its live projectile injured cinematographer Halina Hutchins, 42, and director Joel. Susa.
The rare news shocked Hollywood and had a strong impact, prompting calls to ban guns on sets.
“After a careful review of the evidence and the laws of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the +Rust+ crew,” said Mary Cormack-Altweiss.
“Under my watch, no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice,” he added.
Charges “will be formally filed by the end of the month,” the lawyer said. If convicted, Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reid face up to 18 months in prison.
The actor’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, immediately denounced it as a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was live ammunition in the gun or anywhere else at the scene of the shooting.”
Alec Baldwin, 64, best known for his 30 Rock series, said he was always assured his gun was harmless. David Halls, the administrative assistant who gave him the weapon after telling him it was not dangerous, pleaded guilty to reckless use of a deadly weapon.
The star maintained that he did not pull the trigger, a claim questioned by experts.
“Halina Hutchins would still be alive today if any of the three, Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reid or David Halls, had done their job. It’s that simple,” said prosecutor Andrea Reep.
The evidence showed a criminal disregard for safety at the “+ Rust +” complex, he ruled.
The police investigation focused specifically on determining how live explosives, which are theoretically strictly prohibited, could have been found on set to avoid accidents.
Authorities determined that the gunman, Hannah Gutierrez-Reid, had put ammunition in the gun used by Alec Baldwin instead of a dummy bullet.
In August, the actor said he expected no one would be charged, telling CNN he had hired a private investigator to establish responsibility in the case.
The tragedy led to a flurry of civil lawsuits from several members of the group.
In October, Alec Baldwin announced that he had dropped the civil suit brought by Ms Hutchins’ family.
Its amount was not disclosed.
At the time, it was also announced that filming for “Rust” would resume in early 2023.