‘Rust’ Shooting: The DA’s Case Includes Claim Alec Baldwin Was ‘Distracted’ on Cell During Gun Training

Prosecutors in New Mexico upon formally charging Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal “Rust” case Tuesday claim that the actor was “distracted” and speaking with his family on his cell phone during mandatory firearms training.

Via a probable cause statement publicly released by the New Mexico district attorney’s office, prosecutors charged Baldwin as both an actor and a producer on the film, saying that he was “reckless” in deviating from standard practices involving firearm safety on set and by not receiving appropriate firearm training.

The DA cites statements, deposition from OSHA, and also a deposition from armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed that Baldwin’s training was “very limited” with the cross draw required for the “Rust” scene as well as how to load or unload the gun. According to Reed via the document, Baldwin was scheduled to receive an hour of training but actual training lasted for only 30 minutes because “Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training.”

“Evidence shows Baldwin failed to appear for mandatory firearms training and firearms safety training prior to filming. Evidence also shows Baldwin requested and was afforded a training session ‘on-set’…The on-set and limited time of training does not comport to industry standards and evidence shows Baldwin was in a position to manage, oversee, commence, and require safety training to industry standards. Baldwin’s failure to ensure minimum standards were met is considered reckless in the industry,” the statement reads in part. “This reckless deviation from known standards and practice and protocol directly caused the fatal shooting.”

The DA further claims Baldwin should have known never to point a gun directly at other people, even when directed to do so, he should not have put his finger on the trigger, and as a producer and actor with expertise with weapons on past films, should ultimately have known better.

“Baldwin’s deviation from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused the fatal death of Hutchins. By not receiving the required training on firearms, not checking the firearm with the armorer, letting the armorer leave the firearm in the church without being present, deviating from the practice of only accepting the firearm from the armorer, not dealing with the safety complaints on set and/or making sure safety meetings were held, putting his finger on the trigger of a real firearm when a replica or rubber gun should have been used, pointing the firearm at Hutchins and Souza, and the overall handling of the firearm in a negligent manner, Baldwin acted with willful disregard for the safety of others and in a manner which endangered other people, specifically Hutchins and Souza,” the statement reads. “Baldwin clearly should have known the danger of his actions which led to the death of Hutchins.”

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed both now face two involuntary manslaughter charges, each of which can come with a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Assistant director David Halls was also charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon after he agreed to a plea deal.

Attorneys for Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More to come…

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