Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a woman on set. He was named a ‘possible defendant’ a year later. What changed?

As a veteran actor of nearly 100 films and television shows, Alec Baldwin was no stranger to the strict safety protocols around the handling of firearms on set. While

preparing to film an action scene for his low budget western film Rust in New Mexico last October, Baldwin was handed a .45 Colt replica revolver. According to affidavits

from law enforcement, the 64-year-old actor was discussing a gunfight sequence with crew members when he unholstered the weapon and raised it in the direction of a camera, where

director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were standing. The gun went off, and a single bullet struck Souza in the shoulder before fatally striking Hutchins in

the chest. The precise details of how the gun was fired remain bitterly contested. Baldwin has maintained he had been assured the gun was “cold”, meaning it had no live

ammunition, and that as he cocked the gun it went off without him pulling the trigger. However, a recently released FBI forensics analysis found the gun was in good working

order and Baldwin had to have fired the weapon. In the aftermath of the shooting, crew members, actors and Hutchins’ family lawyered up. All involved have protested

their innocence while blaming poor industry practice and, in some cases one another, for Hutchins’ tragic death. Last October, Hutchins’ estate reached a settlement with

Baldwin and the film’s production company over a wrongful death lawsuit. As part of the agreement, filming on Rust will resume in January, with her widower Matthew Hutchins

named as an executive producer.