Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter on Thursday for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust last year.

Following an extensive investigation, the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office issued charges linked to the October 2021 event on Thursday. In addition to Baldwin, the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, while David Halls, the first assistant director, was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon; Halls has already opted to submit a guilty plea on that allegation.

According to New Mexico, First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, Alec Baldwin, and other “Rust” film crew members should face criminal prosecution. “I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to press criminal charges after a careful evaluation of the material and the laws of the state of New Mexico,” she added. “No one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice while I am in charge.”

“Halyna Hutchins would be alive today if any of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, or David Halls—had followed out their responsibilities. That’s all there is to it,” according to Andrea Reeb, the DA’s special prosecutor assigned to the case. The evidence shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. Film sets that do not respect our state’s commitment to public safety and firearm safety have no place in New Mexico.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will both be “‘charged in the alternative’ with the two counts of manslaughter, meaning that a jury would decide not merely whether they were guilty, but under which definition of involuntary manslaughter they were guilty,” according to the District Attorney’s Office. If found guilty of unintentional manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony, each may face up to 18 months in prison. Suppose the defendant is guilty of involuntary manslaughter in commissioning a legitimate act. In that case, the punishment is a mandatory five-year jail term, with a “firearm enhancement” on the charge.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the defendants may virtually attend the court; the charges will be formally filed later this month, at which point each defendant will receive a summons to appear at the first hearing.

Hutchins died on October 21, 2021, and Rust director Joel Souza was injured during a rehearsal. Baldwin caused the incident by mistakenly firing a toy gun loaded with an actual cartridge. Numerous federal agencies have investigated the incident, including the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

The New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office appeared ready to pursue charges based on earlier operations while conducting its own investigations. The state Board of Finance gave the district attorney’s office more than $317,000 (out of a proposed $635,000) to prosecute those involved in the shooting, according to an article from The New Mexican from back on September 23. Even though Baldwin was listed as one of “the probable defendants” in the first funding request, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies declined to identify who would be prosecuted at the time.

Even though these are the first criminal accusations in connection with Hutchins’ death, the shooting has already given rise to numerous civil actions (as well as some fines). The Hutchins family, in particular, sued Baldwin, Rust producer Ryan Donnell Smith, new armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachary, and “armorer mentor” Seth Kenney for Hutchins’ wrongful death.

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of rushing to stay on schedule, cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations,” the Hutchins family lawsuit stated in part. (In a petition this past March, Baldwin sought that the wrongful death lawsuit is submitted to arbitration and denied being at fault for Hutchins’ death.)