Alec Baldwin Missed Firearm Training for 'Rust', Prosecutors Say
Alec Baldwin is facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, which could potentially land him behind bars if he is convicted. Now, PEOPLE reports that New Mexico prosecutors are claiming that the actor missed required on-set firearm training ahead of the fatal incident. They believe that contributed to the factors that led to Hutchins' tragic death.
In a probable cause filing written by Robert Shilling — an official with the local district attorney's office — the special investigator writes that Baldwin "was not present for required firearms training prior to the commencement of filming." It also states that in a deposition of Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is also facing involuntary manslaughter charges, the 25-year-old claimed that Baldwin had "limited training in firearms and how to check his own firearm as to whether it was unloaded or loaded." Additionally, per the documents, Gutierrez-Reed also stated that Baldwin attended a 30-minute training session. However, she claimed that he appeared "distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training."
Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust — on Oct. 21, 2021 —after a prop gun that Baldwin was holding discharged. The gun was initially not believed to be loaded with live rounds. Director Joel Souza was non-fatally injured during the incident. On Jan. 19, 2023, it was announced that both Baldwin and the Gutierrez-Reed would be charged with involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, the charge comes with a possible 5-year prison sentence. Prosecutors will not issue any charges stemming from Souza's shooting.
During a previous interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin claimed that he "didn't pull the trigger" on the gun, stating that he has no idea why or how it fired a live round. This claim has been backed up by the film's Assistant Director, David Halls. In a previous statement to Good Morning America, Halls's attorney Lisa Torraco said, "Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger. His finger was never in the trigger guard."
It was previously revealed that Hutchins' husband, Matthew, and the producers of Rust — including Baldwin — reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit that Matthew had filed. The settlement created an opportunity for the film's production to resume this year, with Matthew on board as a producer. At this time, there is no word on when cameras will be rolling again on Rust, but locations are currently being scouted.