Halyna Hutchins' Family Speaks Out as Alec Baldwin Faces 'Rust' Charges

Halyna Hutchins' family is in full support of Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed being charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Rust cinematographer's October 2021 on-set shooting death. Charges for Baldwin, the producer and star of Rust, and Gutierrez-Reed, the movie's armorer, were announced Thursday and will be formally filed this month by Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb.

"We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that charges for involuntary manslaughter are warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life," Hutchins' family's attorney, Brian J. Panish, said in a statement obtained by Law & Crime Network. "Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law."

Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, had quite a different take on the charges. "This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins' tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice," Nikas said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds." Nikas noted that his legal team "will fight these charges, and we will win."

Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion, attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a similar statement, "Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. ...We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury."

The District Attorney's Office has no plans to file charges in relation to the shooting of Rust director Joel Souza, who was non-fatally injured during the incident. Assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to a press release.