The key evidence in Rust shooting of Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin


After 15 agonizing months of investigations, interviews, police reports and lawsuits, Santa Fe prosecutors today finally announced charges in the shooting of Halyna Hutchins. 

Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, as will armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. 

Assistant Director Dave Halls pleaded guilty to one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon. 

Hutchins was shot dead by actor Alec Baldwin on October 21, 2021. 

Since then, the world has watched as a tormented Baldwin insisted it was an accident – but that he didn’t pull the trigger – while Hutchins’ family has turned from sympathetic to outraged. 

Here, breaks down the key pieces of evidence and details of the last 15 months that led to the decision today. 


While filming their Western movie Rust on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Alec Baldwin accidentally shot Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza on-set. 

Baldwin had been practicing drawing his gun from his holster. 

The key evidence in Rust shooting of Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin

Baldwin on the set of the movie with Halyna Hutchins, before she was shot

The bullet pierced Souza’s shoulder but fired directly into Hutchins’ chest. 

She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead, to the shock and horror of the film cast and crew. 


In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it emerged that the production had been plagued with staff complaints. 

Days before the incident, several members of the crew even walked-off set. 

Their complaints included concerns over Dave Halls, the assistant director, who’d been accused in the past of running unsafe sets. 

Some said they were forced to sleep in their cars, because hotel rooms next to the set were too expensive. Instead, their rooms were booked in Santa Fe, which is a 30 minute drive from Bonanza Creek Ranch, the location of the set. 

Baldwin is seen on October 21, 2021, after speaking to investigators about the fatal shooting

Baldwin is seen on October 21, 2021, after speaking to investigators about the fatal shooting

They also complained about long hours, and claimed they weren’t receiving pay checks on time. 

Almost immediately, attention turned to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, a 24-year-old whose father was well-known in the industry, who had slim experience in the role. 


Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, found herself at the center of the scandal almost immediately. 

Her track record emerged quickly, with former colleagues rushing to talk about how ‘careless’ she was on past sets, how she’d ‘waved guns around’ and had even handed one to a child actress. 

She hired a group of attorneys who immediately started firing out statements to combat the claims. 


It’s impossible to deny the grief and angst written all over Baldwin when he learned Hutchins had died. 

He was standing in the parking lot of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, having just been interviewed, and was photographed by a photographer for the local newspaper as he buckled in shock and tears while on the phone. 

Shortly afterwards, he released a statement saying: ‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.

Hutchins with her son and her husband Matthew

Hutchins with her son and her husband Matthew

‘I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.’ 

Initially, Hutchins’ widower Matthew said Baldwin had been ‘supportive’. 

But in February 2022, he sued the actor along with other Rust producers, citing ‘reckless behavior and cost-cutting’ that they claimed contributed to her death. 

Baldwin settled with Hutchins out of court, agreeing to make him an executive producer on the movie once production resumes. 


Baldwin insisted to police that he had been told the gun was ‘cold’ when it was handed to him and, crucially, that he did not pull the trigger. 

‘We’ve done this for two weeks and we’ve done it the right way every day. Right before you shoot. I went to lunch. 

‘She disarmed me – Hannah – she always handled the gun. I come back, they hand me the revolver – Hannah – they arm me. You’re assuming it’s a cold gun. I put the gag in the shot. 

‘I take the gun out , as it clears – I turn and cock the gun and the gun goes off. It’s supposed to be a cold gun. Bang, she [Hutchins] hits the ground. [Joel Souza] goes down, screaming going “Jesus Christ!”

‘I have never seen this before… What came out of that bullet that went through her shoulder?…. She was right in front of me,’ he said. 

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Towards the end of the interview, Baldwin is shown a photograph of what was removed from Souza’s shoulder. 

Shocked, he says: ‘That’s a bullet. Somebody put a live bullet in the gun.’

He is then quizzed.

‘Did you see the rounds in the gun?’


‘Have you seen what they look like?’

‘I’ve watched her load and reload the gun many times.’

‘Have you seen the bullets?’

‘Sometimes the head is a casing, it’s pinched and closed at the top and you put the cosmetic round in when you know you’re going to see… those clay based rounds look exactly like a bullet.

‘So cosmetically you see that in the cylinder. I am very upset right now… forgive me.’ 


In December 2021, Baldwin – who’d maintained somewhat of a dignified silence – went on the offensive. 

He sat down for an interview with ABC where he emphatically denied pulling the trigger and said he didn’t feel responsible for it because it wasn’t his fault. 

‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but it’s not me.

‘Honest to God, if I thought I was responsible I might have killed myself. And I don’t say that lightly.’

Alec Baldwin, 63, spoke to George Stephanopoulos for an interview on ABC

Alec Baldwin, 63, spoke to George Stephanopoulos for an interview on ABC

Baldwin, after the interview aired, posted to Instagram a photo of him cradling one of his six young children.

‘No matter what happens to me. No matter what I suffer. If I win or lose, anything. Anything. No one can take away from me the joy and love you have given me, @hilariabaldwin,’ he wrote.

‘These are tough times. The world is choked with fumes of hate. But you have given me a reason to live. Our life with our family is all I care about. Nothing else. I owe that to you.’

Halyna’s husband was outraged. 

‘How’s He Not Responsible?’ he said in his own interview with NBC. 


Furious about Baldwin’s ABC interview and desperate for answers, Halyna’s widower and his attorneys commissioned a dramatic, CGI video recreation of the incident. 

The video showed Baldwin cocking his gun and it firing suddenly –  going straight through Halyna’s chest and grazing Joel Souza’s shoulder. 

The video was submitted as part of their wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and the producers, but it became part of the public record and discussion surrounding the case.  

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In August 2022, the FBI released its damning report into the case. 

The key takeaway was its finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was. 

The FBI said that in testing, it was possible for the gun to fire without the pull of a trigger if the gun was not cocked – but Baldwin had insisted that it was.  

It was the most devastating finding possible for Baldwin, who had so emphatically denied pulling the trigger.

The key takeaway was the FBI's finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was.

The key takeaway was the FBI’s finding, based on forensic analysis of the gun, that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger in order for it to fire if the gun was cocked, like he said it was.

His attorneys immediately went to work to deny it, insisting that it was not a trusted finding and that the reasons behind it were shaky, saying the FBI was only able to make the gun fire once in testing, after pulling the trigger, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was lying. 

‘The FBI report is being misconstrued. The gun fired in testing only one time – without having to pull the trigger – when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places. 

‘The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition,’ his attorneys said. 


In their own police interviews, Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and Kenney tried to blame each other or Baldwin. 

Seth Kenney insisted that the fault lay with Gutierrez-Reed, who he said was trigger happy and eager to fire live rounds. 

‘She wanted to shoot live ammo out of the guns, the TV movie guns. I said no f——- way obviously. And then she acknowledged. 

‘Down below, right, you did see where she said I’m going to shoot them out of mine now,’ he said, referring to texts between the pair. 

She told police that the fault lay with Baldwin, who was ‘distracted’ and ‘on his phone’ during training. 


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