Alec Baldwin has avoided legal ramifications for the shooting of “Dust” director Joel Souza, but not for Halyna Hutchins.
In October 2021, tragedy struck when Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a prop firearm on the set of the western blockbuster “Dust.”
Unfortunately for Alec Baldwin, he was holding the gun when the tragic incident occurred. The bullet from the .45 colt revolver struck cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza. This event ended Hutchins’s life and gravely injured Souza.
Alec Baldwin and a Tragic Mistake
The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office recently informed TMZ why Baldwin wasn’t charged for Souza’s injuries. According to them, the director’s shooting doesn’t technically count as a crime. The standard legal definition of a crime involves motive. However, the Santa Fe district attorney describes the shooting as “unintentional battery” because he doesn’t believe Baldwin intended to harm anyone.
On the other hand, Baldwin is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Halyna. This has been a controversial decision since the culpability of the shootings is still a subject of debate. Producer and actor Douglas Stewart appeared on “TMZ Live” this past week to discuss the shooting. Stewart was a costar of Baldwin on the set of “Dust.”
During the interview, Stewart confirmed that actors typically don’t check the chamber before using a prop gun. In addition, he added that the armorer is to handle the gun safety on a set. It’s worth noting the armorer on the set of “Dust,” Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter as well.
People are calling this "justice" when in it was an accident. Still, although cases like this are rare, there needs to be precautions when these prop weapons are more fatal than we realize. https://t.co/fES94c3hOq
— Gilbert #NewDeal4Animation 💙💛 (@discord12395) January 19, 2023
In no way was this incident Alec's fault
It was a tragic accident caused by terrible safety precautions in what I hear was a rushed production
He is not to blame https://t.co/7Fc75DNrGv
— Usual Bloke Luke (EDITING COMMISSIONS CLOSED) (@UsualBlokeLuke) January 19, 2023
good luck to the armorer, she’s screwed big time. Alec has the best lawyers money can buy https://t.co/m04ZKARiH2
— 𝚁𝚘𝚢 𝙳𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚜 𝙹𝚛 (@chiweethegod) January 19, 2023
It’s most likely that Baldwin’s lawyers will use this precedent of actors not checking guns to defend their clients in court. Fellow celebs and fans alike criticized the decision to formally charge Alec Baldwin. For example, 70-year-old Mickey Rourke jumped on Instagram this past Friday to condemn Santa Fe authorities.
Actors V. Armorers
“I usually never put my 2 cents in about what happens on someone’s movie set,” Rourke stated in his IG post caption. “It’s a terrible tragedy what happened to a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins But no way in hell actor Alec Baldwin should be charged with any negligence whatsoever.”
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Rourke then continued to defend Baldwin, also using the same logic as Douglas Stewart. “Most actors don’t know anything about guns especially if they didn’t grow up around them. Alec didn’t bring the gun to the set from his house or his car, when weapons are involved on a movie set, the guns are supposed to he handled only by the “weapon armor”…”
“In some cases the 1st AD might pass a gun to an actor, but most of the time the gun is handed to the actor directly by the ‘gun armor’. There’s what armor’s job is on the set. To have an expert around any type of dangerous weapon,” Rourke also typed.
As the court litigation for the “Dust” shooting slowly approaches, Alec Baldwin’s fate is yet to determine.
Written by Dreema Carrington