In October of 2021, actor Alec Baldwin was on the set of the western film Rust when a prop weapon was discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Although Baldwin claims he had no idea the weapon was loaded, the actor also declared that he never pulled the trigger that killed the cinematographer. And for almost the last year, Baldwin has stood by his claims that the weapon must have gone off on its own. While investigators have spent the last 11 months investigating the matter, a district attorney in New Mexico recently announced that her office was extremely close to charging up to four people for the death of Halyna Hutchins, including actor Alec Baldwin.
During a New Mexico Board of Finance, First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies gave an update on where her investigation was at, stating, “We are within weeks, if not days, of receiving the final report from the sheriff’s office. It’s become apparent that we will be potentially charging between one and four people with criminal charges, and each of those charges will probably include some variation of our homicide statute.”
Requesting a staggering $639,000 to continue their investigation into the shooting, Altwies insisted that the entire case could take up to four jury trials. “These cases look to be too big for just my office to handle. We need an almost full-time attorney and someone who is very experienced in complex cases and very experienced with litigation.”
Before the statements from District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, the FBI concluded their own investigation into the matter, stating that there was no way the prop gun could have discharged without the trigger being pulled due to the make and model of the weapon used. The District Attorney added, “To date, my office has received portions of the Rust investigation from SFSO but is still awaiting the balance of supplemental reports including, but not limited to, the following: FBI firearm and tool mark analyses, forensic testing on the firearm itself, the forensic download from Suffolk County PD of Mr. Baldwin’s phone, and the pathology report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator.”
Last December, Alec Baldwin sat down with ABC News to give his side of the story. Throughout the interview, the actor was adamant again, stating he did not pull the trigger. He gave numerous reasons why the gun could have gone off, but no matter what – the death was not his responsibility. To date, FBI officials and investigators have been unable to pinpoint the person who loaded the weapon with live ammunition before handing it off.
For now, three members of the investigation are being sued for negligence surrounding the shooting. They included Alec Baldwin, assistant director David Halls, the man who handed the weapon to Baldwin, and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armor on the film.