Director Joel Souza was struck by the same bullet that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust” — but the district attorney has said that actor and producer Alec Baldwin will not be charged for that.
New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced last week that Baldwin would be charged with involuntary manslaughter for firing the bullet that killed Hutchins, but according to the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office, a charge for what Baldwin allegedly did to Souza does not even exist.
The only charge that would make sense with regard to the evidence, the D.A. explained, was “unintentional battery.” But battery requires intent, and the entire case against Baldwin in the Hutchins shooting is built on the assumption — and Baldwin’s insistence — that he did not intend to shoot anyone.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office delivered a 500-page report on the shooting to prosecutors in October, and their overall assessment was that Baldwin had fired a gun that was loaded with live ammunition, but that he had not been aware it was loaded — nor had someone else loaded live ammunition with the intent to cause harm.
“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” the report read.
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed will also face involuntary manslaughter charges as well, and Carmack-Alwies’ office has announced that first assistant director David Halls already agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he knew someone had to be blamed for the shooting but that it should not be him.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly,” Baldwin said, insisting that he had never pulled the trigger.