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Alec Baldwin formally charged with involuntary manslaughter, told cops he fired weapon: docs By Olivia Land and Priscilla DeGregory

Alec Baldwin along with his wife Hilaria and their children seen leaving home.
Alec Baldwin along with his wife Hilaria and their children are seen leaving their home as the actor was Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins. Robert Miller

Alec Baldwin had not been fully trained with firearms ahead of the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” and shortly after admitted to officers he had fired the weapon, New Mexico prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Santa Fe County district attorney called his actions during the fatal shooting a “reckless deviation from known standards and practice,” as they officially hit him with felony charges.

The “30 Rock” actor, 64, and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie’s armorer, were each handed two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

Hutchins, a 42-year-old married mother of one, was fatally wounded on Oct. 21, 2021, when Baldwin fired a prop gun containing a live round. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the accident.

The Statement of Probable Cause filed by the DA against Baldwin stated he was not present for mandatory firearms training prior to the start of filming on the movie. It says when Gutierrez-Reed then booked a training session with the actor scheduled to last at least an hour, they only did about 30 minutes of actual training.

“According to Reed, Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training,” the prosecutors stated, adding: “Reed stated in her deposition this training was essential and could have prevented the fatal shooting.”

Baldwin had a very different take on the training session in an interview with ABC News in December 2021, saying he and Gutierrez-Reed “spent an hour and a half shooting the pistol. Her giving me all her safety instructions.”

The prosecutors also said their evidence disputes other details Baldwin would later discuss about the incident — including that he never fired the gun.

He also told ABC: “I didn’t pull the trigger … I would never point a gun at anyone and then pull the trigger, never.”

Prosecutors dispute that, noting “photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger,” in the lead up to the shooting.

They also add: “Baldwin approached responding deputies on the day of the shooting, wanting to talk to them because he was the one who ‘fired’ the gun.”

Prosecutors also referred to the FBI’s analysis of the firearm, which “clearly showed that the weapon could not ‘accidentally fire,’” as the actor has also previously claimed on many occasions.

The document also said Baldwin failed to demand “at least two (2) safety checks between the armorer and himself” prior to the shooting.

The DA’s office noted “if Baldwin had not pointed the gun at Hutchins and Souza, this tragedy would not have occurred.

“This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting,” the document said.

Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed — a rookie armorer — have maintained their innocence, while assistant director David Halls agreed to take a misdemeanor plea deal for handing the loaded gun to Baldwin.

In one lawsuit associated with the shooting, lawyers for Baldwin referred to “prior gun safety training he received on movie sets,” and claimed he was familiar with the protocols for handling weapons on set.

The probable cause statement said the shooting happened during an unscheduled rehearsal that did not require the weapon to be fired. It also said consultation with expert armorers showed a plastic or replica gun would normally be used in that setting.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are both charged “in the alternative” — meaning a jury can only convict them of one of the two counts they face. The first count comes with a maximum sentence of 18 months behind bars, while the second carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

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February 1, 2023

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