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Alec Baldwin "Rust" shooting: A timeline of events in Halyna Hutchins' death

New Alec Baldwin charge in "Rust" shooting
Alec Baldwin faces new charge in "Rust" shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins 03:00

Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for the Western movie "Rust" on the film's set in New Mexico in October 2021 when a gun he was holding discharged. It was not supposed to be loaded with live ammo — but a bullet fired. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured.

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer who oversaw firearms on the set, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter in January 2023. But three months later, prosecutors announced they were dismissing the charges against Baldwin while the investigation continues. The charges against Gutierrez-Reed remained.

Baldwin was indicted on a new involuntary manslaughter charge in January 2024.

Baldwin has said he didn't pull the trigger, and his lawyer, Luke Nikas, said the actor "had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set," adding, "He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win." 

Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers said after the charges were filed that "the district attorney has completely misunderstood the facts and has reached the wrong conclusions."

Below is a timeline of events following the shooting.

Oct. 21, 2021: Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins killed after Alec Baldwin's prop firearm discharges on set

Hutchins dies after being shot during setup for a scene in the western movie "Rust" at a filmset ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. 

Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in New Mexico
This aerial view shows buildings at the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set, near where a crew member was fatally shot during production of the western film "Rust" PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Nov. 17, 2021: Script supervisor sues Baldwin and producers over shooting

Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor for "Rust," files a lawsuit over the fatal on-set shooting, claiming Baldwin and others involved with producing the film failed to keep the set safe. 

According to the lawsuit, the film's producers and others repeatedly jeopardized the safety of the cast and crew by skimping on safety measures to cut costs. 

The suit claims there had been two instances where guns had been misfired on set prior to the fatal shooting. The suit also claims that the gun used by Baldwin was "regularly left unattended" during filming, as was the cart storing ammunition, which would violate industry standards. 

Dec. 3, 2021: Baldwin describes shooting during interview

Baldwin gives an emotional interview to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos where he skirted responsibility for the fatal shooting.

"Someone is responsible for what happened and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me," he said.

Baldwin told Stephanopoulos that he had no idea there was a live round in the gun, and said he didn't realize it had killed Hutchins and injured Souza until hours after the incident.

In the interview, Baldwin said that moments before the shooting, he and Hutchins were going over camera angles for a scene involving a gun inside of the church on set, and Hutchins was instructing him to point the gun in the area of her armpit.

Baldwin also said during the interview that when he was handed the gun he was told it was cold and that he was cocking the gun but not pulling the trigger as they rehearsed the scene.

Actor Alec Baldwin during an interview with ABC News
George Stephanopoulos had the first exclusive interview with actor Alec Baldwin, following the deadly shooting on the set of the film "Rust." Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images

Oct. 5, 2022: Baldwin announces settlement with Hutchins' family

Matthew Hutchins, Halyna's husband, and Baldwin announce an agreement to settle one of the civil cases stemming from the shooting.  In a statement from his attorney, Hutchins said he would be named an executive producer of the film, which is set to resume filming "with all the original principal players on board."

"All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident," Hutchins said. "I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna's final work."

In an Instagram post, Baldwin called the settlement a "resolution of this tragic and painful situation."

"Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna's son," Baldwin said in the post.

A picture of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
A musician plays a violin behind a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Andres Leighton/AP

Oct. 27, 2022: Santa Fe Sheriff's Office submits its investigative findings to prosecutors

The Santa Fe Sheriff's Office submits its investigative findings to prosecutors in Hutchins' death. 

Santa Fe Sheriff's Office spokesman Juan Ríos turned over the department's findings to a Santa Fe-based district attorney's office without setting forth any recommendations about possible criminal charges.

According to Ríos, the case file outlined all the evidence collected, including investigative interviews and forensic analysis of physical evidence by the FBI. 

Santa Fe (New Mexico) County Sheriff Adan Mendoza
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza speaks during a press conference at the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie "Rust" at the on October 27, 2021. Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Nov. 11, 2022: Baldwin sues armorer and several other crew members involved in the "Rust" production for negligence 

Baldwin files a lawsuit against several "Rust" crew members for negligence. The suit claims that the actor was not responsible for the set's safety, and he did not know there were live rounds in the gun.

The suit alleges that the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, "failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully;" assistant director David Halls "failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin;" and prop master Sarah Zachry "failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her." 

The suit also claims that Baldwin, a producer on the film, "did not know and had no reason to know any of these facts."

Actor Alec Baldwin on a phone call outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on October 20, 2021.
A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's offices on Camino Justicia after being questioned on Oct. 20, 2021 about a shooting when a prop gun misfired earlier in the day on a local movie set.

Jan. 19, 2023: Prosecutors announce Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter

Prosecutors announce that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for their role in Hutchins' death. 

Jan. 31, 2023: Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed formally charged

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are each formally charged with involuntary manslaughter. A probable cause document alleges that Baldwin failed to address "multiple significant safety violations" on the set and noted that the actor failed to attend training in basic firearms safety rules, which had been made available to Baldwin.

"The evidence clearly indicates that Baldwin recklessly ignored these rules, on multiple occasions, resulting in the fatal shooting," the statement said.

The documents also allege that Gutierrez-Reed failed to perform standard safety procedures usually required on film sets, including showing each individual dummy round in the gun to both the assistant director and the actor using the weapon.

Feb. 20, 2023: Prosecutors drop firearms enhancement to charges

Prosecutors in New Mexico announced they were dropping a firearm enhancement from one of the manslaughter charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed. Baldwin's attorneys had been fighting against the enhancement in court, arguing that prosecutors used a 2022 version of the law that didn't apply to the 2021 shooting.

With the firearm enhancement, Baldwin could have faced a mandatory five-year sentence.

Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the district attorney in the case, said in a statement the decision to drop the enhancement was made "in order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys."

"We applaud the decision and it was the right call," Jason Bowles, an attorney for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement.

Feb. 23, 2023: Baldwin pleads not guilty on involuntary manslaughter charge

Baldwin pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge and waived his first court appearance, which had been scheduled for Feb. 24.

The judge who agreed to waive his hearing set several conditions for Baldwin's release, including prohibiting the actor from handling firearms and drinking alcohol. He has also been prohibited from discussing the shooting and any possible testimony with any potential witnesses. He is only allowed to have interactions with potential witnesses in order to complete the movie and other activities such as promotion.

March 14, 2023: Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb steps down

Rust special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced she was stepping down Tuesday, March 14, saying in a statement that she did not want questions about her dual roles as a legislator and prosecutor to "cloud" the issues. Reeb was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in November 2022, and she assumed office in Jan. 2023. 

Baldwin's legal team had filed a motion saying it was "unconstitutional" for her to participate in the case due to her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives, and asked for her to be disqualified. The Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies had called the objection a "novel theory that has no support in New Mexico statutes or case law," The Associated Press reported when the motion was filed. In her statement, however, Reed said, "it has become clear that the best way I can ensure justice is served in this case is to step down so that the prosecution can focus on the evidence and the facts."

Reeb was appointed by the district attorney as a special prosecutor for the investigations in August 2022. In an application for emergency grant prosecution funding, the district attorney said the office needed an experienced attorney that could devote their full time and attention to the case, according to the filed motion.

April 20, 2023: Prosecutors say charges against Alec Baldwin will be dismissed

New Mexico prosecutors announced they would be dismissing the charges against the actor, although the charges against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed remained in place.

"Over the last few days and in preparation for the May 3, 2023, preliminary hearing, new facts were revealed that demand further  investigation and forensic analysis," special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason L. Lewis said in a statement. "Consequently, we cannot proceed under the current time constraints and on the facts and evidence turned over by law enforcement in its existing form. We therefore will be dismissing the involuntary manslaughter charges against Mr. Baldwin to conduct further investigation."

They added, "This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled."

Oct. 17, 2023: Special prosecutors say they will seek to recharge Alec Baldwin

Special prosecutors announce they are seeking to recharge actor Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting on the set of "Rust."

New Mexico-based prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said they'll present evidence to a grand jury within two months, noting that "additional facts" have come to light in the October 2021 fatal shooting.

Special prosecutors in April initially dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin, saying at the time that they were informed the gun might have been modified before the shooting and malfunctioned. They later pivoted and began weighing whether to refile a charge against Baldwin after receiving a new analysis of the gun.

The gun analysis from experts in ballistics and forensic testing based in Arizona and New Mexico relied on replacement parts to reassemble the gun fired by Baldwin — after parts of the pistol were broken during earlier testing by the FBI. The report examined the gun and markings it left on a spent cartridge to conclude that the trigger had to have been pulled or depressed.

Jan. 19, 2024: Alec Baldwin indicted on new involuntary manslaughter charge

Actor Alec Baldwin was indicted on a new involuntary manslaughter charge, according to court documents.

"We look forward to our day in court," Baldwin's attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement to CBS News.

Jan. 31, 2024: Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to new involuntary manslaughter charge

Alec Baldwin pleaded not guilty to a refiled count of involuntary manslaughter and waived his right to an arraignment, which had initially been scheduled for Feb. 1.

Alex Sundby contributed reporting.

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