Prosecutors Picked Apart Alec Baldwin’s “Very Inconsistent Accounts” Of What Happened In The “Rust” Shooting As They Charged Him With Involuntary Manslaughter
Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told BuzzFeed News that neither Baldwin nor Gutierrez-Reed will be arrested on the charges and that both defendants have agreed to respond to a court summons. However, Brewer said in an email that their first court appearance will likely be conducted virtually.
In a probable cause statement filed against Gutierrez-Reed, prosecutors argued that the armorer, who has faced scrutiny for her limited experience, failed to “mitigate or address” safety issues leading up to the deadly shooting, “recklessly failed to ensure safety by allowing live ammunition on the set,” and did not follow proper safety protocols when she allowed assistant director Dave Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin after declaring it was safe to use, to handle the firearm. (Halls has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon as part of an agreement with prosecutors.)
Gutierrez-Reed previously told investigators that she and Sarah Zachry, the Rust prop master, had checked and loaded the guns earlier in the day but did not thoroughly scan them again after the crew had broken for lunch. She has said she put what she believed were five dummy rounds into the long-barrel Colt .45, which Baldwin would eventually use to accidentally kill Hutchins and injure Souza. According to prosecutors, investigators ultimately located six suspected live rounds, including the one Baldwin discharged in the shooting, on the Rust set.
“Reed should have caught this live ammunition on set but put everyone on the Rust set in danger by failing to do her job,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also said Gutierrez-Reed, who was not inside the church at the time of the shooting, “had a duty to stay with the weapon” and failed to show Halls or Baldwin that the gun was safe by taking out each bullet and showing that they were all dummy rounds.
“Reed’s deviation from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused the fatal death of Hutchins,” prosecutors wrote. “By not insisting Baldwin had the proper training, not checking the rounds she was loading into the firearms, not showing Halls or Baldwin each bullet before handing them the firearm, allowing live rounds on the scene, … and allowing Baldwin to handle a firearm in a negligent manner, Reed acted with willful disregard for the safety of others.”