Alec Baldwin believes it’s ‘highly unlikely’ he’ll face criminal charges for ‘Rust’ shooting

by Keane Eacobellis

Alec Baldwin sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos last night for a hard-hitting interview in which he discussed the Oct. 21 fatal shooting on the set of Rust.

This production is set to go down in cinema history, though not in a way that anyone involved would have wanted. Now that some time has passed, the details of the tragedy have become clearer with contributing factors being an oppressive working environment, ignored warnings from union workers, inexperienced crew, and lax safety standards.

That all culminated in the jaw-dropping moment where Baldwin was handed a prop gun he was told was “cold,” leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza.

Baldwin revealed in the Thursday night interview that he doesn’t believe he’ll face criminal charges:

“I have been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally.”

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be legal consequences. The investigation is still ongoing and Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has not ruled out criminal charges, especially as Baldwin was also a producer on the movie. This may also open him up to a civil case if it’s determined he was ultimately responsible for safety on set, regardless of whether he fired the gun himself.

In the interview, Baldwin also walked through the incident from his perspective:

“So I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger. I said, ‘Did you see that?’ [She said] ‘Well, just cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit like that. … And I cocked the gun and go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? And I let go of the hammer on the gun, and the gun goes off.”

Nobody was expecting the gunshot and the immediate aftermath sounds like chaos:

“Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in. The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun, if there were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all.”

At first, he believed that Hutchins had fainted, then when her injuries became apparent he thought she may have been struck by the wadding of a blank. The notion that the gun had been loaded with a live round was only suggested 45 minutes to an hour later.

Baldwin may not be facing charges at this time, but it’s certainly possible the armorer and members of the crew to be charged with criminal negligence. We Got This Covered will keep an eye on the story and will report on findings once the investigation wraps up.