Alec Baldwin says he doesn’t think he or anyone else will face criminal charges in last year’s fatal shooting on the set of “Rust,” a tragic episode he says “took years” of his life and cost him professionally.
Prosecutors awaiting the investigative report from the Santa Fe sheriff’s office will weigh evidence from the Oct. 21, 2021 shooting on the film’s Old West set outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, to determine whether to present charges. Baldwin and crew members were rehearsing a scene in a rustic church when a prop gun in the actor’s hand went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
Investigations into the tragedy have focused on how a round of live ammunition ended up on a movie set.
In his interview with CNN, Baldwin blamed the tragedy on Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who served as a gunsmith and prop assistant on the film, and assistant director Dave Halls, who handed him the gun. Through their respective attorneys, both Gutierrez Reed and Halls accused Baldwin of shifting the blame onto others.
“Somebody put a real bullet in the gun who should have known better,” Baldwin said. “That was [Gutierrez Reed’s] worked. His job was to look at the ammo and put the dummy ammo or the blank ammo, and there wasn’t supposed to be any real ammo on set.
“There are two people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” he added. “I’m not sitting there saying I want them to, you know, go to prison, or I want their lives to be hell. I don’t want that, but I want everyone to know that those are the two people who are responsible for what happened.”
According to an administrative complaint filed this month by the New Mexico Environment Department’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health against the production company, Gutierrez Reed told Halls to alert her when Baldwin arrived so she could conduct a safety check on her firearm. The complaint goes on to say that the gunsmith left the church “expecting to be notified by Mr. Halls when Mr. Baldwin arrived.” Instead, the complaint says, Halls handed the revolver directly to Baldwin.
“Why not [Gutierrez Reed] check that bullet? Why didn’t Halls obey her?” Baldwin continued. “Why did you give me the gun? Why didn’t you check? Why did she tell her to the crew [it was a cold gun]?”
Baldwin also wondered aloud if Seth Kenney, the film’s prop supplier, accidentally provided real bullets to the “Rust” set. An FBI report released last week said dozens of rounds were found on the set that were consistent with live ammunition.
In January, Gutierrez Reed sued the movie’s gun and ammunition supplier, charging PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC. and its founder Seth Kenney of violation of trade practices, false and misleading product labels, and material and false misrepresentations. In the lawsuit, Gutierrez Reed alleges that Kenney sold him a cache of fake ammunition with live bullets mixed in.
Kenney’s attorneys filed a response last month, denying any allegations and asking the court to dismiss the case.
“We agree with Mr. Baldwin and believe that Seth Kenney, as the main ammunition supplier, mixed live cartridges with blank cartridges in the ammunition provided to Rust,” Jason Bowles, an attorney for Gutierrez Reed, said in a statement to CNN. “We have again requested that the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI analyze the live bullets for fingerprints and DNA to confirm where they came from. To date, they have failed to do so on this vital question, which must be answered.” to discover the whole truth of what happened”.
CNN has reached out to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
“We disagree with Mr. Baldwin’s attempts to shift the blame onto others. It is not for him to decide or apportion the blame,” Bowles added.
In a statement, Halls’ attorney said Baldwin is trying to take the blame off himself.
“Baldwin is pointing fingers at others because the evidence is pointing at him,” said Lisa Torraco. “Halls is not responsible. Everybody needs to stop. People just point fingers at Halls because they don’t want to take responsibility for being wrong. Halls is a scapegoat. People need to look at the evidence.”
Baldwin has repeatedly said that he pulled back on the firing pin of the gun as far as it would go without cocking the gun and released the firing pin, but did not pull the trigger. A newly released FBI forensic report says the gun could not be fired during normal FBI operational tests without pulling the trigger while the gun was cocked. The report noted that the gun ultimately failed during FBI testing after internal parts fractured, causing the gun to fire in the cocked position without pulling the trigger.
Luke Nikas, an attorney for the actor, told CNN on Sunday that the FBI report “is being misconstrued.”
“When Alec Baldwin showed up that tragic day to film, he didn’t have a reason in the world to think there was a live bullet in that gun, in that church, or even on that property,” Nikas told CNN in a statement afterward. interview on Thursday. “It would be a huge miscarriage of justice. [to charge Baldwin].”
‘I don’t want to see anyone suffer’
Over the past 10 months, Baldwin says he has repeated the events that led to the fatal shooting. While he waited for Santa Fe County prosecutors to announce the results of their investigation of him, Baldwin says he took matters into his own hands.
“I hired a private investigator,” he said.
According to what his private investigator told him, Baldwin said he doesn’t think he will be criminally charged.
Baldwin said he believes Gutierrez Reed and Halls would not be criminally charged either.
“I’m pretty sure none of them should ever work on a film set again,” he said. “I honestly believe… [investigators are] I’m going to say this was an accident. It’s tragic.”
Baldwin added that he does not want to “condemn” Gutierrez Reed.
“I mean maybe it’s the Catholic in me,” Baldwin said. “I have the urge to say, I don’t want to see anyone suffer. I don’t want to sit there and say, you know, go find her and convict her.”
‘That she has died, that is the worst of all’
Filming for “Rust” was shut down after the shooting. Baldwin says that he went to great lengths to try full filming from the film in an effort to provide potential profits to Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son.
the The director of photography’s widower is suing the film’s production company, and Baldwin is named as one of the respondents.
“People talk about ending the movie to honor Halyna and I totally agree with that, that’s great. But more importantly, we wanted to put the money in the kids’ pockets,” Baldwin told CNN, referring to Hutchins’ son.
Baldwin says he has lost five jobs since the “Rust” shooting and would have left the movie business were it not for the support of his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, who is expecting her seventh child this fall.
“I got fired from another job yesterday,” he said. “There was everything ready to go to the movies, get on a plane… I’ve been talking to these guys for months and yesterday they told me that we don’t want to make the movie with you because of this.”
Baldwin also says that there have been fears for his safety since ex President Donald Trump publicly said that he believed the actor killed Hutchins on purpose.
Baldwin says it’s that kind of stress that “has taken years off my life.”
“There’s a torrent of people attacking me who don’t know the facts,” he said, crediting his family’s support for keeping him going.
“If I didn’t have my wife, I don’t know where I’d be right now… If I didn’t have her, I probably would have quit, retired, gone, you know, sold everything I owned, got a house in the middle of nowhere and you know what I found something else to do, sell real estate.
If he returns to a movie or TV set, Baldwin says he won’t be working with real guns anymore. Filmmakers these days can use digital effects to create realistic weapons on screen, he says.
Baldwin also says that not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about Hutchins and what happened that day.
“Everyone loved her as a person,” Baldwin said, praising Hutchins’ talent and character.
“Her dying, that’s the worst of it. Someone died, and it was preventable. It was so unnecessary,” he said. “Every day of my life I think about that.”