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“Rust” movie set fatal shooting: A timeline of events

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin is being charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal 2021 shooting on the set of the Western film “Rust,” prosecutors in New Mexico announced Thursday. 

During rehearsals for the film, Baldwin held the Colt gun that discharged a live round that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the ‘Rust’ film crew,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement released Thursday morning. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer who oversaw firearms on the set, are each being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to a year and a half in jail and a $5,000 fine. The charges also include a provision that could result in a mandatory five years in prison because the offense was committed with a gun.

Baldwin’s lawyer said the actor plans to “fight” the charges following the announcement.

“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” attorney Luke Nikas said. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.” 

Below is a timeline of events following the shooting that led to criminal charges. 

October 21, 2021: Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins killed after Alec Baldwin’s prop firearm discharged on set

Hutchins dies after being shot during setup for a scene in the western movie “Rust” at a filmset ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. 

Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in New Mexico
This aerial view shows buildings at the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set, near where a crew member was fatally shot during production of the western film “Rust”

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

November 17, 2021: Script supervisor sues Baldwin and producers over shooting

Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor for “Rust,” files a lawsuit over the fatal on-set shooting, claiming Baldwin and others involved with producing the film failed to keep the set safe. 

According to the lawsuit, the film’s producers and others repeatedly jeopardized the safety of the cast and crew by skimping on safety measures to cut costs. 

The suit claims there had been two instances where guns had been misfired on set prior to the fatal shooting. The suit also claims that the gun used by Baldwin was “regularly left unattended” during filming, as was the cart storing ammunition, which would violate industry standards. 

December 3, 2021: Baldwin describes shooting during interview

Baldwin gives an emotional interview to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos where he skirted responsibility for the fatal shooting.

“Someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” he said.

Baldwin told Stephanopoulos that he had no idea there was a live round in the gun, and said he didn’t realize it had killed Hutchins and injured Souza until hours after the incident.

In the interview, Baldwin said that moments before the shooting, he and Hutchins were going over camera angles for a scene involving a gun inside of the church on set, and Hutchins was instructing him to point the gun in the area of her armpit.

Baldwin also said during the interview that when he was handed the gun he was told it was cold and that he was cocking the gun but not pulling the trigger as they rehearsed the scene.

Actor Alec Baldwin during an interview with ABC News
George Stephanopoulos had the first exclusive interview with actor Alec Baldwin, following the deadly shooting on the set of the film “Rust.”

Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images

October 5, 2022: Baldwin announces settlement with Hutchins’ family

Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, and Baldwin announce an agreement to settle one of the civil cases stemming from the shooting.  In a statement from his attorney, Hutchins said he would be named an executive producer of the film, which is set to resume filming “with all the original principal players on board.”

“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident,” Hutchins said. “I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

In an Instagram post, Baldwin called the settlement a “resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin said in the post.

A picture of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
A musician plays a violin behind a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.

Andres Leighton/AP

October 27, 2022: Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office submits its investigative findings to prosecutors

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office submits its investigative findings to prosecutors in Hutchins’ death. 

Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Ríos turned over the department’s findings to a Santa Fe-based district attorney’s office without setting forth any recommendations about possible criminal charges.

According to Ríos, the case file outlined all the evidence collected, including investigative interviews and forensic analysis of physical evidence by the FBI. 

Santa Fe (New Mexico) County Sheriff Adan Mendoza
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza speaks during a press conference at the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie “Rust” at the on October 27, 2021.

Sam Wasson/Getty Images

November 11, 2022: Baldwin sues armorer and several other crew members involved in the “Rust” production for negligence 

Baldwin files a lawsuit against several “Rust” crew members for negligence. The suit claims that the actor was not responsible for the set’s safety, and he did not know there were live rounds in the gun.

The suit alleges that the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, “failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully;” assistant director David Halls “failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin;” and prop master Sarah Zachry “failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her.” 

The suit also claims that Baldwin, a producer on the film, “did not know and had no reason to know any of these facts.”

Actor Alec Baldwin on a phone call outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on October 20, 2021.
A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s offices on Camino Justicia after being questioned on Oct. 20, 2021 about a shooting when a prop gun misfired earlier in the day on a local movie set.

January 19, 2023: Prosecutors announce Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter

Prosecutors announce that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for their role in Hutchins’ death. 

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