SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Prosecutors announced that actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer who was killed on a New Mexico film set.
Halina Hutchins died shortly after being shot during a rehearsal on October 21, 2021, at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing him and wounding director Joel Souza.
This is breaking news update. Below is an earlier AP story.
SANTA FE, NM (AP) — The Santa Fe district attorney will announce Thursday whether charges will be filed in the fatal 2021 film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during rehearsals for the western “Rust.”
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweiss said the announcement would come in a statement and on social media without a public appearance by prosecutors.
“The announcement will be an important occasion in keeping with the office’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the judicial process and honoring the victim’s family,” said Heather Brewer, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
Cinematographer Halina Hutchins died on October 21, 2021 after suffering a gunshot wound during setup for a scene at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Director, Joel Souza.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Aden Mendoza, who led the initial investigation into Hutchins’ death, described “a degree of neglect” on the film set. But he left it up to prosecutors to decide about possible criminal charges after the results of a one-year investigation were delivered in October. That report did not specify how the ammunition reached the sets of the film.
Taking control of the investigation, Carmack-Altweiss was given an emergency request of $300,000 to the state to pay for a special prosecutor, special investigator and other experts and personnel.
Baldwin – best known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” – described the killing as a “tragic accident”. .
he Seeks to clear his name by suing those involved in handling and supplying loaded guns Which was given to him on the set. Baldwin, also the co-producer of “Rust,” said he was told the gun was safe.
In his lawsuit, Baldwin stated that while working on camera angles with Hutchins during a rehearsal of a scene, he pointed the gun in her direction and pulled back and cocked the weapon’s hammer, which discharged.
The New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office determined that the shooting was an accident following the completion of an autopsy and review of law enforcement reports.
New Mexico’s Bureau of Occupational Health and Safety has imposed the maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions, based on a horror tale of safety failures, including testimony that production managers caused two misfires of blank ammunition on set prior to the fatal incident. took little or no action to address Shooting.
Rust Movie Productions continues to challenge the basis of the $137,000 fine by regulators, who say production managers on set failed to follow standard industry protocols for firearm safety.
The armorer who supervised the firearms on set, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, has been the subject of much scrutiny in the matter, along with an independent ammunition supplier. An attorney for Gutierrez Reed has stated that she did not put a live round in the gun that killed Hutchins, and believes she was a victim of sabotage. Officials said they have not found any evidence of this.
Investigators initially found 500 rounds of ammunition on a film set on the outskirts of Santa Fe—a mix of blanks, dummy rounds, and what appeared to be live rounds. Industry experts have said that live rounds should never happen on sets.
In April 2022, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department released a set of files that included lapel camera video of the mortally wounded Hutchins passing consciousness in and out during the arrival of a medical helicopter. Questioning of witnesses, email threads, text conversations, ammunition inventories and hundreds of photographs round out that collection of evidence.
State workplace safety regulators said immediate gun-safety concerns were addressed when filming of “Rust” stopped, and that a return to filming in New Mexico would be accompanied by new safety inspections.
Hutchins’ family – widower Matthew Hutchins and son Andros – settled a lawsuit against the producers as part of a settlement that aims to resume filming with the involvement of Matthew Hutchins as executive producer.
“Rust” has been mired in controversy since its October 2021 release. Seven crew members walked off the set hours before the fatal shooting amid a dispute over working conditions.
Hutchins’ death has affected Negotiating Security Provisions in Film Crew Union Contracts with Hollywood producers and inspired other filmmakers Selecting computer generated imagery of bullets instead of real weapons with blank ammunition to reduce the risks.