Prosecutors in New Mexico are set to announce on Thursday whether they will file criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of “Rust,” after more than a year of investigation and delays.
The district attorney’s office that serves Santa Fe County said on Wednesday that the district attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, and the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the case, Andrea Reeb, would announce the decision in a written statement. The office has spent more than two months weighing a charging decision after the county sheriff’s office delivered its final investigatory report.
While requesting additional funding from state officials last year, the office said that up to four people — including the actor Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it went off — could be charged in the shooting. The district attorney’s office said in its request that any decision to bring charges would result in high-profile and costly trials.
While Ms. Carmack-Altwies made it clear in the funding request that her office had not decided whether to bring charges — “If charges are warranted,” she began one sentence — it also went into greater detail than she had in the past. “One of the possible defendants is well-known movie actor Alec Baldwin,” said one of the attached documents.
The state approved more than $300,000 for the hiring of additional employees, with the possibility of more funds later on.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Mr. Baldwin was positioning an old-fashioned revolver for a close-up on the set of the western when the gun discharged, killing the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding the film’s director, Joel Souza. Mr. Baldwin has denied wrongdoing, asserting that he did not pull the trigger and that Ms. Hutchins was directing him where to point the gun.
Central to the investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office were Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the crew member in charge of the guns on the set; Dave Halls, the movie’s first assistant director, who said he inspected the gun that day before handing it to Mr. Baldwin; Seth Kenney, the movie’s primary supplier of guns and ammunition; and Sarah Zachry, the movie’s props master, who worked closely with Ms. Gutierrez-Reed. All four individuals have denied wrongdoing in interviews with investigators or through their lawyers.
After the shooting, investigators found five live rounds on the set, in addition to the bullet that had been fired from the gun. The final report by the sheriff’s office did not offer any theories about how that ammunition ended up on the set.