Actor Alec Baldwin could be one of up to four defendants to face criminal charges over the shooting death last year of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the low-budget Western film, “Rust.”
The Post Millennial reported Monday that Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies in August asked the New Mexico state financial board for emergency funding to indict as many as four defendants. The request, which was recently approved, explicitly stated that “one of the possible defendants is well-known movie actor Alec Baldwin.”
The district attorney asked for $635,000 to fund the prosecution, noting that murder charges will be considered, alongside other offenses, after the shooting on October 21, 2021, which left the film’s chief cinematographer dead.
In the incident, which also injured director Joel Souza, Baldwin allegedly drew a revolver from his holster and pointed it toward the camera to practice for an upcoming scene. The gun discharged a live round, striking Hutchins and Souza.
After the incident, Baldwin repeatedly claimed he did not pull the trigger. He has refused to accept any blame for the fatal incident and instead suggested that the film’s 24-year-old armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, may be to blame for not properly checking the gun before Baldwin took it. Baldwin maintains he did not believe the gun was loaded.
Despite Baldwin’s claims, however, an FBI analysis in August concluded that Baldwin must have pulled the trigger himself, as the heavy .45 caliber Colt F.lli Pietta single-action revolver required a significant amount of strength for the trigger to be pulled. The gun “could not have been fired without pulling the trigger,” the report stated.
Production of the film, for which Baldwin was also a producer, has been indefinitely shut down while the investigation remains ongoing. In addition to likely criminal charges, Gutierrez-Reed is also facing a wrongful death lawsuit from Hutchins’ family, despite her denial of any wrongdoing ahead of the incident.