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New Mexico prosecutors on Tuesday formally charged actor Alec Baldwin in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust in October 2021. The Hunt for Red October star and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each slapped with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, according to the complaint.
The most jarring revelation, however, appears on page three, paragraph two of the District Attorney’s 10-page Statement of Probable Cause which states that Baldwin admitted in the aftermath of the tragedy to firing the shot:
BALDWIN approached responding deputies on the day of the shooting, wanting to talk to them because he was the one who ‘…fired…’ the gun. He was referred to and later interviewed by detective(s).
Take a look:
This would be a bombshell because Baldwin has been claiming ever since that fateful October day that he did not pull the trigger, and that the gun went off by itself.
Alec Baldwin denies he’s at fault in the death of Halyna Hutchins. The actor speaking out for the first time in an interview about the fatal shooting on the ‘Rust’ movie set in late October.
My @NewDay piece this morning, as the investigation into the incident continues: pic.twitter.com/ftMdljvk3o
— Nia K. Phillips (@Nia_Official) December 3, 2021
Hutchins was a 42-year-old married mother of one and was shot by a .45-caliber Long Colt F.lli Pietta single-action revolver wielded by Baldwin, fatally wounding her and injuring director Joel Souza. It’s unclear why the gun contained live ammunition that day, even after live ammunition had been previously discovered on set in complete violation of film industry protocol.
Things only get worse for Baldwin as the probable cause statement reveals that he failed to take gun safety seriously:
The charging document states Baldwin was not present for firearms training prior to the start of filming on the movie. It says when Gutierrez-Reed then booked a training session to last for at least an hour with Baldwin, 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. [Emphasis mine.]
“Reed stated in her deposition this training was essential and could have prevented the fatal shooting.”
It’s shameful that Baldwin, a fierce gun control advocate, couldn’t even be bothered to learn basic gun safety.
— I’m Not That Guy (@ImNotThatGuy8) November 4, 2021
Baldwin has thus far refused to take any responsibility for Hutchins’ death, and also claimed his finger was never on the trigger and that he couldn’t have pulled it. The district attorney argued that evidence showed otherwise:
Baldwin told ABC News in a December 2021 interview: “I didn’t pull the trigger … I would never point a gun at anyone and then pull the trigger, never.”
Prosecutors dispute that claim, noting “photos and videos clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger.”
They 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.”
Then prosecutors drop the hammer:
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 face sentences of up to five years if convicted. Expect the Saturday Night Live Trump impersonator to fight back with a high-priced team of lawyers who will claim that there was no intent, that he never pulled the trigger, and that the tragedy is the fault of Gutierrez-Reed and other crewmembers. The young armorer and Baldwin are both required to appear in court within 15 days of the charges being filed.
Baldwin was already a controversial figure, known as much for his violent outbursts as his acting.
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) August 28, 2013
The probable cause statement—and his apparent admission that he did indeed “fire” the gun—make him look even worse.
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