‘Rust’ timeline: Key events in the Alec Baldwin on-set shooting
Written by ABC Audio. All rights reserved. on January 31, 2023
(SANTA FE, N.M.) — The accidental shooting on the New Mexico film set of “Rust” spawned a yearlong criminal investigation, multiple lawsuits and heartfelt remembrances of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was tragically killed when a prop gun fired.
Multiple people, including star Alec Baldwin, now face charges in connection with the deadly shooting.
Here’s a look at key events in the incident, which sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry:
Oct. 6, 2021: Production in progress
The New Mexico Film Office announced that “Rust” was currently in production in Santa Fe, with filming scheduled to go until early November 2021.
Oct. 21, 2021: On-set shooting
While on the set of the Western at Bonanza Creek Ranch, Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed by Baldwin while he was practicing using a Colt .45 revolver. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.
First assistant director David Halls had handed the gun to Baldwin while proclaiming “cold gun,” to let the crew know a gun with no live rounds was being used, according to a search warrant affidavit. However, Hutchins was killed by a live round inside the gun, authorities said.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the incident.
Nov. 17, 2021: Script supervisor files lawsuit
The film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, announced she has filed a civil suit accusing Baldwin of “playing Russian roulette” by pointing a Colt .45 revolver at Hutchins.
Dec. 2, 2021: Baldwin speaks out in first interview
In his first interview following the shooting, Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he had “no idea” how a live bullet got onto the set of his film, but that he “didn’t pull the trigger” on the firearm. He also said he didn’t believe he would face criminal charges for the tragedy.
Jan. 12, 2022: Armorer files lawsuit
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed a lawsuit alleging that the ammunition boxes supplied by the prop provider “failed to state” that “the contents contained both dummy and live ammunition.”
Feb. 15, 2022: Hutchins family files wrongful death lawsuit
The family of Hutchins filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging reckless behavior and cost-cutting by Baldwin and others led to Hutchins’ death.
April 20, 2022: ‘Rust’ production company fined
The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau issued Rust Movie Productions a “willful” citation, including a $136,793 penalty, for failures that led to Hutchins’ “avoidable death.” This is the highest level of citation and maximum fine allowable by state law in New Mexico.
Oct. 5, 2022: Hutchins family announces settlement reached
The family of Hutchins announced they had reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s producers.
As part of the settlement, Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, took over as executive producer of the film and it was announced the principal actors and director would restart filming in January 2023.
Oct. 27, 2022: Sheriff’s investigation handed over to DA
Santa Fe County sheriff investigators confirmed they had turned over their report to Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will decide whether to press criminal charges against anyone involved in the shooting.
Nov. 11, 2022: Baldwin files lawsuit
Baldwin filed a lawsuit over the fatal shooting, alleging negligence of several of the film’s crew members. The cross-complaint, which named the Western’s first assistant director, armorer, ammunitions supplier and prop master as defendants, follows the lawsuit filed last year by the film’s script supervisor.
Nov. 18, 2022: Sheriff releases investigative report
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office released its 550-page report into the fatal shooting.
Jan. 19, 2023: Charges announced
Prosecutors announced that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Halls already agreed to plead no contest to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
No charges will be filed in the shooting of Souza, the district attorney’s office said.
Jan. 31, 2023: Charges formally filed
Carmack-Altwies formally filed involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting. Halls’ plea agreement is pending a judge’s approval, prosecutors said, noting there is no set timeline for approval.
The filings claimed that Baldwin and Guiterrez-Reed failed to correct reckless safety violations in their roles as producer and armorer, respectively, and that Baldwin had his finger inside the trigger and the trigger was pulled — contradicting his statements saying he never pulled the trigger.
Each defendant will be issued a summons for their first court appearance, which can be done virtually or waived, prosecutors said. During a preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. Preliminary hearings are typically scheduled within 60 days of charges being filed, according to the district attorney’s office.
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