Rust shooting: District attorney to announce whether Alec Baldwin will face criminal charges on Thursday

The District Attorney in Santa Fe will announce whether Rust film crew members will be criminally charged over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Thursday.

The release of the decision, more than 15 months on from the fatal shooting in October 2021, will “be a solemn occasion”, a spokesperson for district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said.

According to affidavits from law enforcement, the accidental shooting occurred as Alec Baldwin was discussing a gunfight sequence with crew members at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Bonanza City, New Mexico, on 6 October 2021.

The 64-year-old actor unholstered a .45 revolver and raised it in the direction of a camera, where director Joel Souza and Hutchins were standing.

The gun went off, and a single bullet struck Souza in the shoulder before fatally striking Hutchins in the chest.

In September last year, Ms Carmack-Altwies announced four “possible defendants” including Baldwin and three others while asking New Mexico’s Board of Finance for additional funding to complete the investigation.

When contacted by the Santa Fe New Mexican at the time, she said the list of possible charges at ranged from homicide to violations of state gun statutes.

Alec Baldwin and Halyna Hutchins (Getty Images)
Alec Baldwin and Halyna Hutchins (Getty Images)

Other individuals named in police affidavits in relation to the criminal investigation are the armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director David Halls, and a local prop shop owner Seth Kenney.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department initiated an investigation to determine how a live round was placed in the gun, why crew members had failed to notice the round, and why the gun fired.

All three people who handled the weapon – Halls, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed – were cooperating with the investigation, authorities said.

On 5 October last year, Hutchins’ estate reached a settlement with Baldwin and the film’s production company over a wrongful death suit.

“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame,” Matthew Hutchins said in a statement.

“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident.”

Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting, issued a statement to say he was prepared to return as director to honour Hutchins’ legacy and “make her proud”.

Various civil lawsuits are still being fought out in court.

The Independent has contacted Baldwin’s lawyer for comment.