The “30 Rock” actor and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed are each facing two charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. First assistant director Dave Halls pled guilty to the charge of the negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Even though the bullet passed through Hutchins and struck the director, Baldwin will not be facing any additional charges for his injury, which resulted in his hospitalization.
Alec Baldwin Will Not Face Additional Charges For Shooting ‘Rust’ Director Joel Souza
The “Rust” director was standing right behind Halyna Hutchins when she was struck by a live bullet inside a gun held by Alec Baldwin while they were rehearsing a scene inside of a church on the set of the Western film.
Although Souza was injured and hospitalized for his injury, the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office told TMZ over the weekend that they were not charging Baldwin in Souza’s case, simply because no crime took place. The D.A. told the outlet that the only way to categorize Souza’s injury was “unintentional battery” and no such charge exists.
The D.A. admitted that Baldwin didn’t seem to have any intention of hurting anyone and battery requires intent under the legal definition of the law. The case against Baldwin in Hutchins’ death is rooted in alleged recklessness.
Although many are saying that Baldwin should have checked the gun since he was the one holding it, many have come to Baldwin’s defense, including actor Douglas Stewart.
Douglas Stewart Says Actors Do NOT Check Their Own Weapons
On Friday, actor Douglas Stewart appeared on “TMZ Live” on Friday to talk about the involuntary manslaughter charges that will be formally filed against Alec Baldwin and the “Rust” armorer at the end of the month.
Stewart, who had filmed a scene for “Rust” prior to the deadly incident taking place, said that he has been working on movie sets with guns for decades and has never checked a gun himself. He took things one step forward and actually alleged that actors are prohibited from checking their own weapons, which is why they have an armorer and other experts on the set to do it for them.
Although some have said that Baldwin should be charged because he is also serving as an executive producer, others have argued that his producer status is only when it comes to creative decisions for the movie and has nothing to do with the day-to-day affairs of the set.
Stewart also agreed that Baldwin was not “running the show” and asserted that his producer status was just a way for Alec Baldwin to grab back-end profits off the film, which is reportedly scheduled to resume filming in California instead of New Mexico.
Joel Souza Thought He Was Hit By Wadding From A Blank
The 551-page police report conducted by Santa Fe law enforcement was released to the public late last year.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Baldwin “raised the firearm towards the camera as part of the rehearsal, which subsequently discharges and struck Ms. Hutchins, as well as the director, who was reportedly standing behind Ms. Hutchins. The projectile was later recovered from the director at a hospital.”
According to a police interview, Joel Souza claimed that he was hit with “wadding from a blank” before he was told by hospital staff that he was struck by a real bullet.
The “Rust” director told police that first assistant director Dave Halls was responsible for gun safety on set and told him before the crew broke to lunch that it was a “cold gun,” meaning that the weapon did not contain live rounds.
Dave Halls has pleaded guilty to the charge of the negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Souza told police that he doe snot know who brought the gun onto the set, but added that Baldwin was not required to draw his firearm for the scene.
The report states: “Joel explained, the shot required Alec to slowly draw the gun and partially take it out of the holster. When asked if the shot required Alec to fully draw the weapon and point it, Joel stated ‘no’ because they didn’t get that far.”