‘Rust’ shooting: District attorney to announce decision on charges this month

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(SANTA FE, N.M.) — More than a year after a cinematographer was accidentally shot and killed on the set of the film Rust in New Mexico, the local district attorney will decide whether to press criminal charges against anyone involved in the tragedy.

The office of Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies confirmed to Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT that an announcement will be made by the end of January about whether any charges will be pursued.

The case was handed over to Carmack-Altwies in October after the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office completed its investigative report, which was subsequently released in November. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office told ABC News at the time that Carmack-Altwies “and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges.”

On Oct. 21, 2021, actor Alec Baldwin was holding an antique revolver during a dress rehearsal for Rust at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe when the firearm discharged a live round, striking cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest. The bullet that hit her also struck the film’s director, Joel Souza, in the shoulder, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

Hutchins, 42, died after being airlifted in critical condition to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, the state’s only Level 1 trauma center, according to the sheriff’s office and the hospital. Souza, 48, was rushed via ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, according to the sheriff’s office. Actress Frances Fisher, who was cast in Rust, wrote on Twitter the next day that Souza was released from the hospital.

A few days later, Carmack-Altwies told ABC News that “everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table.”

Baldwin, who was starring in and co-produced the Western film, told ABC News in an exclusive interview in late 2021 that he “didn’t pull the trigger.”

In November, Baldwin filed a lawsuit alleging negligence of several of the Rust crew members while seeking to “clear his name.” The actor’s cross-complaint followed a lawsuit filed in 2021 by the film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, which accused Baldwin of “playing Russian roulette” with the revolver.

Several other complaints have been filed in connection with fatal incident. Last February, the Hutchins family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a number of parties, including Baldwin and the Rust movie production. The family reached a settlement in October, announcing that Hutchins’ husband will take over as executive producer and the film will restart production in 2023, with Baldwin and Souza still attached.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso contributed to this report.

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