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Prosecutors announce criminal charges against Alec Baldwin for involvement in Rust shooting

The tragedy took place in October 2021

alec baldwin
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
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Prosecutors have come to a decision on whether to file criminal charges against anyone involved in the October 2021 shooting on the set of Rust, including Alec Baldwin.

Santa Fe County prosecutors announced on Thursday, 19 January that they were charging the star with involuntary manslaughter after over a year of its investigation starting. The film's armorer who was in charge of weapons on the set, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The tragic shooting took place on 21 October, 2021. The It's Complicated lead was on set holding an old-fashioned revolver for a close-up while rehearsing for the western movie, when the gun discharged, killing the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and wounding the film's director, Joel Souza, 49. 

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Additonally, the film's first assistant director, David Halls, has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to the district attorney's office. Alec's attorney, Luke Nikas, released a statement in defense of his client following the decision.

The late cinematographer was survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their 9-year-old son, Aldous.

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Santa Fe County's district attorney's office had previously announced on Wednesday that its DA, Mary Carmack-Altwies, alongside the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the case, Andrea Reeb, would be announcing their decision in a written statement. They confirmed that the actor was a possible defendant.

Alec Baldwin being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos about the Rust shooting© Photo: Getty Images

The actor previously opened up about the incident in an interview with George Stephanopoulos

The office has been deliberating their decision to charge for two months, after the county sheriff's office delivered their final report from their investigation late in October of last year.

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They initially set out to investigate how a live round got into the gun Alec was holding, which was meant to be a prop gun. He has spoken out about the shooting before, denying any wrongdoing, maintaining that he did not pull the trigger and that the late cinematographer was instructing him on where to point the gun. 

Attorneys representing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins family announcing a wrongful death lawsuit© Photo: Getty Images

The late cinematographer's family announced a wrongful death lawsuit in February of 2022, though they reached a settlement with Alec in October of the same year

"The district attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges," a spokesperson for the DA's office said at the time.

After the incident, investigators found five live rounds on set, not including the bullet that had been fired from the gun, though the sheriff's office final report did not include theories as to how the ammunition got to the New Mexico set in the first place.

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