Alec Baldwin skipped a mandatory firearms safety training for 'Rust' and was on the phone with his family during a private, on-set session, prosecutors allege
- Alec Baldwin received "minimal" firearms training ahead of the fatal "Rust" shooting, prosecutors said.
- Baldwin and the film's armorer were charged with involuntary manslaughter in Halyna Hutchins' death.
Both Baldwin and the film's armorer, Hannah Guiterrez-Reed, were charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the October 2021 accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Santa Fe, New Mexico, movie set of "Rust," according to court documents.
"Baldwin was provided only minimal training on firearms," the statement of probable cause against Baldwin reads, adding that he had "limited training" in firearms, including the cross draw technique that was required for the scene he was practicing as well as how to check if a weapon was loaded or unloaded.
Prosecutors said evidence shows Baldwin was not present for required firearms training prior to the start of filming. Guiterrez-Reed told investigators she realized the actor needed more training and thought additional safety sessions were "very important" for Baldwin, given his character's use of guns throughout the film.
The documents allege Gutierrez-Reed then scheduled a private, on-set, hour-long session with Baldwin, but the session ended up only being 30 minutes in length because "Baldwin was distracted and talking on his cell phone to his family during the training," Guiterrez-Reed told prosecutors.
"The on-set and limited time of training does not comport to industry standards," prosecutors said, adding "Baldwin's failure to ensure minimum standards were met is considered reckless in the industry."
In a statement of probable cause against Guiterrez-Reed, prosecutors said the young armorer also failed in her professional role to meet industry standards by not demanding Baldwin focus during the training or keeping the session on track.
She later told investigators Baldwin's firearm training was essential and could have prevented the fatal shooting.
Photos and videos from on-set the day of the shooting show Baldwin as he practiced drawing and pointing the gun, according to court documents. Prosecutors say the evidence clearly shows Baldwin with his finger inside of the trigger guard and on the trigger several times, in stark deviation from best practices.
Baldwin was seen mishandling the firearm despite his public assertions that he is an "expert" in the realm of firearms and filmmaking; investigators counted at least 40 instances of the actor previously using a weapon in film or television productions throughout his career.
Prosecutors said Guiterrez-Reed failed to correct Baldwin's misuse of the weapon and generally ran a "reckless" set in regards to firearms use, allowing unqualified crew members to handle guns and missing several key safety checks in the hours leading up to the fatal shooting.
An lawyer for Guiterrez-Reed responded to the charges against her on Tuesday, saying prosecutors had "misunderstood the facts" and "reached the wrong conclusions."
Attorney Jason Bowles said his client "pleaded" to provide more firearms training; asked to use a plastic gun for the rehearsal scene; and requested to be called back to set if Baldwin was going to use a real gun at any point. Bowles said producers brushed her aside and repeatedly denied her requests.
"We will fight these charges and expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty," Bowles said.
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