Alec Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter For Accidental ‘Rust’ Shooting in 2021

Baldwin could be sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison for Halyna Hutchins' death.
By Madison E. Goldberg
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

This morning, the Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced that actor Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter. The charge is for his role in the shooting of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins in 2021 on the set of the movie Rust. Assistant director David Halls was charged with “negligent use of a deadly weapon”, for which he signed a plea agreement. Set armorer Hannah Gutierrez was charged with involuntary manslaughter as well, for her role in mixing up live rounds with dummy rounds in the prop gun that wound up in Baldwin’s hands.

The accidental shooting has proven a landmark case in the entertainment world. The late Halyna Hutchins’ husband’s attorney issued a statement in support of the charges, expressing that no one should be above the law.

Political commentator Hilary Rosen felt that the charges against Baldwin were unjust, given that the props department were the ones who were truly responsible for safety precautions.

Baldwin likely faces 18 months in prison for the shooting, but could face up to five years. Involuntary manslaughter is a second degree felony. The charges have divided the film industry, with some believing that only Gutierrez and Halls deserved to be charged. Others felt that the fatal shooting occurred due to the 2021 entertainment workers shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing IATSE union strike.

Others were in agreement with the charges, expressing that Baldwin should have checked the gun before firing it for the shot.

@producerpatrick

Manslaughter charges, this whole case is sad and unfortunate. No one should ever die in making entertainment.

♬ Sad Emotional Piano – DS Productions

Some gun owners have also voiced support for the charges, believing that Baldwin was reckless. While Baldwin appeared on ABC News to tell his side of the story, and went as far as to say that the trigger of the gun was never even pulled. The investigation into the shooting later found this to be untrue.

@mdg650hawk7thacct

♬ original sound – mdg650hawk7thact

Baldwin famously portrayed Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live during the Trump presidency, and some Republicans have been quick to poke fun at Baldwin amid the charges.

Some are even comparing the shooting to Kyle Rittenhouse’s intentional shooting of three men at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020. The cases bear next to no similarities.

Regardless of support or disagreement with the charges, many hope that this case will serve as a grave reminder of the importance of set safety.

In a video that circulated on TikTok and Twitter, Baldwin appears distraught at the news of Halyna’s sudden death.

@the.tiser

police have released video of the moment Alec Baldwin finds out #Rust #cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after he accidentally shot her on set. #alecbaldwin #fyp #foryou #trending #viral #hollywood

♬ original sound – The Advertiser

While the shooting has been proven involuntary, some people continue to place blame entirely on Baldwin given his controversial past.Regardless of this, Baldwin has expressed that the situation traumatized him.

The charges are to be filed by the end of this month. The impending trial will determine convictions of Baldwin, Halls, and Gutierrez.  Despite the division of opinion the charges have caused among politicians, the film industry, and fans of the actor, there’s no denying that the case has impacted entertainment forever.