As Alec Baldwin’s Rust Prepares To Continue Filming, The Investigation Has Taken Another Step Forward

Alec Baldwin speaks out about Rust gun safety incident to ABC News December 2021
(Image credit: ABC News)

It’s been a year since the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the set of Rust after a prop gun misfired. Because Rust’s star Alec Baldwin was the one who held the gun that led to the fatal shooting, this poses the question of whether or not the well-known actor will face any punishment for this. This Western movie will continue its filming, but the on-set shooting investigation has taken another step forward.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after she was shot at the Bonanza Creek Ranch by a Colt.45 gun held by Alec Baldwin while filming. Rust’s director Joel Souza was also injured by the same gun. According to The Wrap, the district attorney’s office for Santa Fe County, New Mexico received the completed sheriff’s report for the on-set shooting that will bring a “thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.” When DA Carmack-Altwies requested emergency funding to pursue the Rust case, she said potentially one to four people will face criminal charges with each charge being a variation of the county’s homicide statute.

It’s hard to know if Alec Baldwin will be charged for the death of Halyna Hutchins. In an August 30th letter sent to county officials, Carmack-Altwies hinted that Baldwin could be one of the main defendants. When the 64-year-old actor detailed the fatal accident, he said that he didn’t pull the trigger and would never point a gun at anyone. He even further stated he believed a live bullet was placed in the gun that wasn’t supposed to be there. The film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed maintained her innocence over the blame theorizing someone could have mixed a live round in the gun with dummy bullets in order to ruin the movie’s production.

Rust Movie Productions got into even more trouble facing maximum fines of $137,000 for ignoring the film's firearms safety regulations. It was reported there were other incidents on set that showed mishandling of firearms like two instances of a shotgun left unattended and two firearm misfires days later. It was also mentioned that the day before Hutchin’s death, Rust’s 1st assistant camera resigned expressing safety concerns. Ultimately, its findings concluded that the Colt.45 needed a trigger pull from a quarter or half-cock position with the hammer fully cocked in order for a bullet to be fired, disputing Baldwin’s initial claims.

After Alec Baldwin settled a lawsuit against himself and Rust Movie Productions, Rust will continue filming in January 2023. This is good news as Rust’s producers were optimistic that filming would resume, but there were no guarantees. However, Rust will be moving filming locations once production resumes as it would be too emotional for the cast and crew to return to the place where tragedy struck. My heart goes out to the families of those affected by the shooting with hopes they will heal with time.

Eventually, we’ll be receiving answers on who will be facing criminal charges as a result of Rust’s on-set shooting and whether one of those people will be Alec Baldwin. Until then, filming for Rust will resume. Check back with CinemaBlend’s upcoming movies so you’ll have an idea when Rust will be released in theaters.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.