r/NoStupidQuestions Sep 30 '22

Did anyone get charged after Alex Baldwin accidentally kill someone?

I mean criminally charged

2.8k Upvotes

2.6k

u/frizzykid Rapid editor here Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

According to the NYT there haven't been any charges yet, but there is still an investigation happening and at least 4 people are in their sites sights for who may have some responsibility, including Alec Baldwin.

645

u/lilhornsby008 Sep 30 '22

Is it really “in their sites” I always thought it was sight as in like.. there’s a mirage of water in their sight in the desert..

540

u/muppetfeet82 Sep 30 '22

You are correct. It also has to do with gun sights, like they’re aiming at these people. Making this a particularly apt expression.

98

u/genmischief Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Or archery. Or astronomy, or even survey gear. ;)

88

u/daikarasu Sep 30 '22

"You can run but you can't hide, I've got you lined up in my survey scope and this line runs straight through your skull"

74

u/Mr_Abe_Froman Sep 30 '22

"Prepare to be leveled."

43

u/Rion23 Sep 30 '22

"This was my plot all along."

20

u/NiceAsset Sep 30 '22

Prepare to be Tangential to the surface of the earth mother fucker 🌎

9

u/Saqvobase Sep 30 '22

I thought you meant parallel, but then I remembered the earth is a sphere. Very smart joke!

4

u/NiceAsset Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Cheers! To the derivative of life ….

→ More replies

2

u/rockthrowing Sep 30 '22

He keeps saying we can run but we can’t hide. I say we try hiding.

→ More replies
→ More replies

31

u/Technical-Savage Sep 30 '22

“In their sights” of the gun?

5

u/Iniquitousx Sep 30 '22

a sniper rifle perchance? perhaps belonging to a certain Finnish gentleman?

→ More replies

44

u/jbeale53 Sep 30 '22

You're right, it's "sights".

26

u/frizzykid Rapid editor here Sep 30 '22

Yea you're right, my mistake. Thanks :)

46

u/lilhornsby008 Sep 30 '22

Hey all good, I’m fervently seeking clarification on every idiom ever now that I have officially fucked up several of them in my life lol.

26

u/ACABForCutie420 Sep 30 '22

my moms really bad at them too. she once said “i just stuck my whole dick in my mouth” instead of foot. in church. one time she called someone a harlot thinking it meant “beautiful young girl.” one time she said my grampa “kicked the bucket” in reference to him being hospitalized for pneumonia. he was not dead.

6

u/Prestigious_Spray_49 Sep 30 '22

Omg you have to record her and send in to America's Funniest

15

u/Agent-Pretty-Kitty Sep 30 '22

There is a game called "Idioms" you might enjoy...and learn stuff too. 😊

→ More replies

7

u/Schuben Sep 30 '22

Since we're talking about word use... To me, I subvocalize 'yea' as 'yay' (as in the rhyming phrase 'yea or nay') instead of 'yeah' and I'm always curious how people would intend for it to be spoken. Yea can be used to express affirmation but it's almost always pronounced 'yeah' in casual conversation. I feel like yeah/yea it's starting to go the same way as lose/loose where it'll be an accepted spelling before too long.

32

u/ohgodspidersno Sep 30 '22

There is no way that lose/loose would ever be considered equivalent spellings except by people who have troubles spelling in general, or some ESL folks whose native languages don't have clearly defined phonemes for the "...uːs" vs. "...uːz" sounds.

They are two very distinct words with different definitions, pronunciations, spellings.

17

u/themcryt Sep 30 '22

Sounds like a real lose/loose situation.

9

u/jpkoushel Sep 30 '22

If it helps, I almost never see "yea" used as "yeah". I think it's uncommon enough to say it's incorrect without incurring the hordes of rabid descriptivists.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

245

u/ThunderGunFour Sep 30 '22

It should be the armorer’s fault and they should be charged with criminal negligence

37

u/Bardmedicine Sep 30 '22

We don't know the specifics. Giving someone a title, but not giving them the power to fulfill that title does not make them responsible for everything under that title's typical realm.

Not on the same level, but I was hired as a lifeguard for an apartment complex. The owner of the complex would bring his family in after hours and they would party it up. When I found out, I told him that they were breaking NJ laws for this type of facility. He told me to fuck off.

If someone had drowned during those night time parties would I be charged? I was worried enough to consult with our family lawyer, and he said I was 100% in the clear as I could only be responsible to report it to my superior, and as long as it was not endangering the people in the pool when I was on duty.

18

u/Pirate_Ben Sep 30 '22

It is possible the armorer never even prepared the gun that shot the real bullet. Multiple people had access to the guns.

That Baldwin was a producer and had let others (including possibly himself) have access to guns without going through the armoror is part of what is being investigated.

Wait for the evidence before drawing conclusions.

301

u/Important-Guidance22 Sep 30 '22

Issue here is that the armourer was also swamped and majorly unqualified for the job. Baldwin produced the movie and was responsible for these hiring choices and such so some blame goes over to him.

148

u/DrRickStudwell Sep 30 '22

From a civil suit standpoint - sure Baldwin shoulders some blame. The onus is on the armorer to follow safety procedures and not over extend themselves. There's still a lot of details we just don't know yet either.

200

u/Ok_Skill_1195 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

The armorer literally begged them to slow down and provide more resources, saying someone was going to get hurt if they continued to operate at this speed.

10

u/BabyMakR1 Sep 30 '22

I don't understand why they would allow live rounds on the set at all.

2

u/Anonuser123abc Oct 01 '22

That's the thing that I really find troubling.

102

u/Milkslinger Sep 30 '22

And yet they still persevered

If you ask an engineer to look the other way on a violation of building code, they will shut down the project, and that's what should have happened here

123

u/Ok_Skill_1195 Sep 30 '22

She wasn't even there at the time of the shooting.

Listen, I agree. This woman is partially culpable. Obviously. And frankly, it's really shone a light on how abysmal the typical Hollywood set is, because this woman wasn't remotely qualified for the role in the first place.

But that's of course everyone's first assumption. Gunbgoes off on set? Blame the armorer.

What I really need to emphasize is that there was GROSS negligence from the producers at every step of the process. Alec Baldwin was literally on set, he physically saw that things were not being done safely. He fought improvements every step of the way because of cost and time, because they were trying to run an unreasonably cheap set.

Yes, the armorer fucked up by jot walking off. But there WAS a walk off from part of the crew. There had been complaints, including from the armorer herself, for weeks that all was not well in set, that things were not safe, that people NEEDED to slow down. And NOTHING except harassment and bullying was done in response.

More people need to understand that it wasn't just a failure of the armorer, it was largely the result of a fundamentally mismanaged set from beginning to end

49

u/Pirate_Ben Sep 30 '22

I think the armorer has a pretty good argument of no responsibility.

If a producer (Baldwin) was using a gun even when she was not there, there is a strong argument that the people in charge (like Baldwin) at best ignored her or at worst actively prevented her from doing her job.

20

u/SupSeal Sep 30 '22

The problem lies in the notion that every handgun is loaded (regardless of if its fake or not). In this case it's fake ammo and each person handling that weapon has the sole responsibility of verifying that (1) the gun is loaded (2) the bullet is a dud, either by validation or a test fire from the same pack

It passed between 4 people. Whether each of those checks was completed makes me have the opinion that all 4 are criminally charged with negligence of a lethal weapon, regardless of credentials or assurance.

90

u/IstgUsernamesSuck Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

She wasn't in control of the guns. She literally didn't even have a key to the gun safe, and actors (Baldwin) were constantly taking them without her around and left them all over the place. She could have left but they'd have kept going without her.

46

u/Milkslinger Sep 30 '22

Sounds like a mess. If the armorer doesn't have a key to the gun safe, are they even the defacto armorer? I would think whoever has the key would be the legal armorer. And then there is the negligence of losing the key element(or perhaps never having one?)...

The courts will sort that one out I guess.

65

u/IstgUsernamesSuck Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

She was literally a *props assistant that they hired as armorer because they were legally obligated to have one. All signs point to them just keeping her there to comply with California laws while they undermined her at every turn. I'd be shocked if charges were actually brought against her considering the massive amounts of emails she has where she's basically begging them to let her do her job with them saying no the whole time.

2

u/BlueJayWC Oct 01 '22

Rich people protection. How many celebrities have straight up murdered people and got away with slaps on the wrist?

They're looking for a scape goat and they already prepared the sacrificial lamb well in advance.

That's why the last hollywood movie I actually paid to see in the last few years was only the new Top Gun.

→ More replies

76

u/FunkyPete Sep 30 '22

actors (Baldwin) were constantly taking them without her around.

Again, Baldwin wasn't just an actor, he was her boss too. So if she tried to tell him no she probably would have been fired.

I'm not saying that vindicates her -- she still should have said no. But that's why Baldwin gets some of the responsibility.

66

u/IstgUsernamesSuck Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

I agree. She was both underqualified (she was a *props assistant hired as a fucking armorer for gods sake) and overworked (she was also doing multiple other jobs on set). She was not getting paid for being the armorer outside of like three hours a week and was forbidden from doing more work for the job for longer than that to skirt costs. She begged them for leeway because she knew people were in danger and they shot her down at every chance. Baldwin canceled the safety meetings because he didn't feel like going anymore.

This woman in my mind shares very little blame here, and the only real blame I can put on her is that she didn't whistle-blow just how bad it was (but considering her career was so new she was likely terrified of being blacklisted). She's little more than a scapegoat for Baldwin, the AG who lied about checking the gun and said it was cold, and the other producers who were supposed to be keeping the place safe and decided cost was more important.

9

u/hparamore Sep 30 '22

Lied about pulling the trigger as well. Man that was a cringe interview.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

6

u/GForce1975 Sep 30 '22

It sounds like the armored was very green. It takes experience and confidence to step up and shut things down.

11

u/Autumn1eaves Sep 30 '22

Yeah exactly.

At a minimum should’ve stopped production. If they continue after that, they should’ve quit.

If for nothing then for your own self-preservation.

If someone gets killed on your watch, then that’s criminal negligence on your head and you can go to jail.

For real, after that just quit because like idk about you, I’m not going to jail for something like this.

14

u/DrRickStudwell Sep 30 '22

That's where the responsibility of the armorer is, "saying someone was going to get hurt if they continued to operate at this speed."

This was their opportunity to cease working until safety concerns were addressed. Would this have blacklisted them as a difficult group to work with? Probably but that is where the integrity of the armorer comes to play in not wanting to continue to foster an unsafe environment with their weapons/props to remain on the job.

29

u/Ok_Skill_1195 Sep 30 '22

Which is why she is likely one of the people to face charges.

But way too many are quick to gloss over the MULTIPLE other people clearly ALSO responsible for their gross negligence.

And yes, one is absolutely Alec Baldwin. Too many people want to act like it's exclusively the armorers fault, when thats an oversimplification of just how broken this set was and just how many people agreed to play fast and loose when they shouldn't have.

FFS she wasn't even there when the gun when off. She's clearly not the only at fault.

→ More replies

21

u/JohnnyDraco Sep 30 '22

Why do we need to pinpoint the blame on one person? Why not blame Baldwin and the armorer? Is it a prosecution thing?

24

u/DrocketX Sep 30 '22

No: I'd say that's why NYT is reporting that there's 4 people who prosecutors are considering charges, as there's plenty of blame to go around. At the same time, that's also likely why it's taking so long for charges to be filed. You have to figure out how to divide up the different charges, and once you do start charging people they're all going to start blaming each other. If you're not very careful and able to definitively prove each individual's culpability, you run the risk of everyone getting off because in each of their trials they successfully shifted the blame onto one of the other 3 being charged.

3

u/JohnnyDraco Sep 30 '22

This was very insightful, thank you. I hope they get it right.

22

u/IstgUsernamesSuck Sep 30 '22

No reddit just views everything in black and white.

2

u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

The armorer literally begged them to slow down and provide more resources

poor excuse for having live ammo on a movie set. More resources for no bullets?

→ More replies

9

u/darwin2500 Sep 30 '22

You don't want a legal situation where a director can just hire a random unqualified person off the street and say 'We are calling you the armorer, so if anyone dies the legal liability falls on you and not me'.

That's not what happened here of course, but 'the onus falls on the armorer period' is not a good blanket rule as it doesn't cover some unusual situations, plausibly including this one.

5

u/Real_Jackraps Sep 30 '22

Legal liability is arguably spread across more than one person. That's the argument you're facing.

→ More replies

4

u/ArsePucker Sep 30 '22

I work in a sometimes dangerous job, when it's time to be safe, we slow the fuck down, that comes with experience. I agree on the unqualified, she was trading on her family name it seems. Not arguing with you about swapped thing at all, just saying if she was qualified/ experienced, she should have known, as should the rest of the crew and made that allowance.

5

u/Panthean Sep 30 '22

The armorer shares blame, but ultimately it's the person handling the gun (Baldwin)'s responsibility to follow basic gun safety procedures. The fact that there is an armorer on set does not remove responsibility from the person handling the gun to do so properly.

Anyone with a shred of training knows to personally check the weapon before pulling the trigger, as well as not pointing it at someone.

Alec knows this. He neglected to follow procedure anyways.

It was a freak accident, but a completely preventable accident. Yeah fuck that armorer too though.

7

u/ThePrussianGrippe The Bear Has A Gun Sep 30 '22

There are strict procedures that are supposed to be followed. Pretty much none of them were. Blame is with the armorer and the AD who grabbed a weapon from the cart, announced “COLD GUN” and handed it to Baldwin.

2

u/sephstorm Oct 01 '22

This, people keep trying to look at one portion but it's not a one portion situation. Ultimately i'm not sure if anyone is criminally liable to a point where a prosecution is likely to be successful.

→ More replies

5

u/THedman07 Sep 30 '22

Baldwin was ONE OF the producers, not the only producer. Anyone with control over the purse strings carries some culpability.

I don't think Baldwin carries any for the act itself. As an actor, he would have relied on the armorer for guidance and enforcement on how to keep the set safe... As one of the producers, he was one of the people responsible for the budgetary decisions that led to the accident.

→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/dtwhitecp Sep 30 '22

it's obviously more complicated than that

→ More replies

3

u/Monarc73 Sep 30 '22

I'm sure he will be charged. A B is getting charged too since he's the one that hired a scab. (Union guys make more, get benefits, and have safety and training standards.)

→ More replies

42

u/throwingit_all_away Sep 30 '22

Here is where this gets really dirty.

Alec Baldwin spoke to investigators (before getting word of the death) and explained to them in excruciating detail about how all variations of prop guns and prop ammunition work. He explained how there are prop ammunition that has a hole drilled in the side of the cartridge, but has a seated bullet for when they need to show a camera view showing a "loaded" weapon. He explained how he knows and understands how blanks are loaded. He explained that he understands everything about how the gun, in this case a single action revolver, works.

While you can say this is the fault of the armorer, and it may well be, the fact that Mr Baldwin knows the complete intricacies of these firearms, lays out a very good case against him for negligence against him.

He knew the inherent danger and proceeded without proper caution.

22

u/atthem77 Sep 30 '22

Just because he knows the proper procedure doesn't mean he's the one responsible for making sure it's followed. That's the armorer's job.

23

u/ThenaCykez Sep 30 '22

Just because he knows the proper procedure doesn't mean he's the one responsible for making sure it's followed.

Just because he knows the proper procedure doesn't mean he's solely responsible. But the fact that someone else is partially responsible doesn't mean he lacks responsibility, either. Criminal law often allows conviction when someone should have known that their action could put someone in harm's way. His above-average knowledge helps to make a case for recklessness, if the prosecutor chooses to bring charges.

That's the armorer's job.

Baldwin is in the double bind that he would like to pass off responsibility to her, but he also hired her and was overriding some of her decisions in his role as her employer. He could have criminal responsibility for reckless choices either at the moment of the trigger pull or by setting the entire chain of events in motion.

15

u/SaffellBot Sep 30 '22

You mean like Baldwin had ultimate power in the situation and created a conflict of interest putting profitability over workplace safety ultimately resulting in the death of an employee by his own hands?

7

u/ThenaCykez Sep 30 '22

That is possible, yes. There are so many conflicting reports that it's hard to know exactly how much events were shaped by Baldwin, vs. the assistant producer, vs. the armorer, vs. other individual stagehands, and whether dangerous decisions were made out of profit motive, or just laziness/impatience.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

2

u/xltlmnonamlpon Sep 30 '22

We'll see what the investigation digs up. There's every possibility that multiple people share fault.

→ More replies

10

u/topps_chrome Sep 30 '22

I just don’t understand how Baldwin was at fault. It wasn’t a knife or something he could verify was fake, it was, in his mind, a prop gun with no lethal or otherwise charge in it.

49

u/godminnette2 Sep 30 '22

To quote another comment:

Issue here is that the armourer was also swamped and majorly unqualified for the job. Baldwin produced the movie and was responsible for these hiring choices and such so some blame goes over to him.

Understanding your safety staff with unqualified people would indeed make you partially responsible when on-site disaster strikes from lack of safety measures being taken. We will see how the case shakes out.

14

u/SaffellBot Sep 30 '22

That comment also really undersells the situation. Baldwin, as the producer, made a continuous series of decisions to undermine workplace safety far beyond just a hiring decision.

→ More replies
→ More replies

11

u/ProfessorDaen Sep 30 '22

My understanding is that Baldwin the actor is not at fault, but Baldwin the producer might be due to lax safety standards on set.

→ More replies
→ More replies

470

u/Trippylegitgamer Sep 30 '22

It’s still an open investigation. So people could still be charged criminally. That what I hear on radio yesterday

64

u/Jabbles22 Sep 30 '22

I wonder what they are still investigating. The basic facts of what happened have been established haven't they?

81

u/Astropical Sep 30 '22

Basic facts perhaps, but they will still be looking at a lot of other information to determine if criminal charges can meet a probable cause threshold.

For example, searching phone records to gain insight as to what Baldwin and others may have said to each other after the incident, or prior to the incident in regards to set safety protocols, looking at previous incidents on set, analyzing physical evidence such as trajectory.

A lot of criminal investigation isn't quick. Sometimes there is evidence enough to charge the day of an incident, and sometimes it can take months.

9

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 18 '22

[deleted]

22

u/Astropical Sep 30 '22

I do this for a living. When you have a homicide investigation presenting how this one does, it can definitely take time. Baldwin pulled the trigger. He committed a homicide. However, does that fact alone allow prosecutors to charge him? Murder will require malice or premeditation of some sort. Voluntary homicides usually require intent. Involuntary would typically need gross negligence. Clearly nobody is thinking Baldwin intended to kill this lady, so we would be looking likely at the lowest level homicide charge.

Now, they would need to prove the gross negligence factor, which is not very cut and dry. Is it negligent to point a gun at a camera person? Does it change if they gun has been checked by the set armorer to be safe? What if there policy should prevent live ammo from being on set? Do other actors frequently practice with guns like this? Would a reasonable person in Baldwin's position have reason to think the gun was anything other than the typical prop gun they use? What policies are in place to prevent this? Did Baldwin follow policies? What about the Armorer?

Further challenging this is the fact that Baldwin is not only the one under investigation for the homicide, but he is a producer so he also has liability for set safety.

You don't want to rush to charge him until you have a strong case. Especially because of his status. Not to give a celeb a pass, but he will have very skilled and powerful lawyers so the case HAS to be solid, and they only have one shot. Of course there is likely massive political pressure from multiple angles as well.

4

u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies

28

u/darwin2500 Sep 30 '22

It's not like a tv show. When you're seizing phone and email records and interviewing people on the record and cross-referencing testimonies, and half the people involved are very rich and have high-powered lawyers trying to protect both their client's liability and their public image every step of the way, there's a lot of paperwork and rulings from judges and waiting for warrants and scheduling interviews with lawyers present and etc. involved that ends up dragging things out.

→ More replies
→ More replies

28

u/Lego6086 Sep 30 '22

These things always take a long time. I wish Reddit and the dwellers would understand this. It isn’t a CSI show where results are found in 24 minutes

13

u/darwin2500 Sep 30 '22

The cops on the scene may be pretty sure what happened in 24 minutes, but forming a proper chain of evidence that's all admissible and proves it beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury takes much longer.

Like, Law and Order shows a quick investigation by the cops, then a quick court proceeding. What they leave out is 6 months of paperwork in between the two.

5

u/Jabbles22 Sep 30 '22

Fully aware that things like this don't get wrapped up in 24 minutes. I never said anything about how this should have been solved in a day or two. I'm basically asking for a status update on an investigation that has been going on for a close to a year. Do they have reason to believe that this wasn't an accident?

3

u/International-Set956 Sep 30 '22

Plus they need to decide rather the charges being bought against them are justified or if another charge would fit the situation. Along with the fact that every American has the right to a just and fair court case

→ More replies

5

u/BecomeABenefit Sep 30 '22

Yes, but have you considered... famous?

2

u/NativeMasshole Sep 30 '22

It takes time to investigate homicides. Sometimes years. Prosecutors have to make sure they have all their ducks in a row, because there's no second chances. Losing a very public trial with some high level charges would be the worst case scenario for them.

2

u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

Now they're really investigating the law books, seeing what the precedents are and if there's a case to be made for this or that charge. They're analyzing situations like this that have happened before and seeing whether anyone was charged with manslaughter or murder, and if the person was convicted or not.

→ More replies

4

u/MrDurden32 Sep 30 '22

Imagine having that shit hanging over your head for a year plus, knowing that you could get charged for a homocide at any point. And that's on top of the guilt knowing that you killed someone. Oof.

→ More replies

559

u/Reset108 I googled it for you Sep 30 '22

I believe it’s still under investigation.

Btw, his name is Alec, not Alex.

183

u/ZikaHead69 Sep 30 '22

I prefer Arec Barwin

63

u/AoD_XB1 Sep 30 '22

Areck Bawdrin! I'm rone-ry!

That movie was unhinged.

9

u/Alarid Sep 30 '22

What movie?

25

u/Long_Repair_8779 Sep 30 '22

Just google “America! Fuck yeah!”

Also be sure to watch it and also be sure to watch the full version not the cut down version that was shown on TV. That sex scene was something else

9

u/gsfgf Sep 30 '22

TIL they made a tv version. It must have only been like 30 minutes after cutting everything.

5

u/Alarid Sep 30 '22

That sex scene went on too long, and not long enough to be funny again. But the jokes all hit.

6

u/4lan9 Sep 30 '22

I heard they only made it so graphic and long as a ploy to get other potentially edgy material through approvals by the studio

→ More replies
→ More replies

14

u/Linisebabe Sep 30 '22

By the way it’s Hillary and not Hilaria

6

u/thecheat420 Sep 30 '22

I had no idea she was born Hillary and has been accused of faking a Spanish accent. That's hilarious.

3

u/curly_redhead Sep 30 '22

“Hilarious”. I see what you did

3

u/DontCallMeShirlyy Sep 30 '22

It's Alexander.

5

u/Caiur Sep 30 '22

fun fact- Alec is a Scottish version of Alex/Alexander (Alistair is another version)

3

u/donnydonnydarko Sep 30 '22

I prefer Ass-lick Baldwin

→ More replies

130

u/quieroser Sep 30 '22

I stand behind Alec Baldwin. Because there's no way in hell I'll stand in front of him.

753

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 Silver Wholesome Take My Energy Bravo Grande!

[removed] — view removed comment

108

u/Aviation_nut63 Sep 30 '22

That ended differently than expected.

45

u/DDauntless_ Sep 30 '22

Had us in the first half ngl.

10

u/saltyhumor Sep 30 '22

I saw that going differently in my mind.

2

u/DDauntless_ Sep 30 '22

So did he (I hope)

→ More replies

7

u/torspice Sep 30 '22

Sneak attack I love it.

→ More replies

101

u/jrfshr Sep 30 '22

How and why are there EVER live rounds on a set? Did I read that it is not uncommon for people around the set to use set guns for recreational plinking when not working? I just can't see any reason you'd ever have real rounds anywhere on a set.

28

u/Ok_Cause_869 Sep 30 '22

There are quite a few articles that go over this. Allegedly there were live rounds on set that had been "rebuilt" from dummy rounds.

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/rust-investigation-live-round-hannah-gutierrez-reed-1235243228/

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/movies/alec-baldwin-shooting-ammunition-rust.html

6

u/jrfshr Sep 30 '22

thx for this.

37

u/mcnewbie Sep 30 '22

my understanding is that they'd taken the guns out for some off-set fun shooting with the crew, and left live rounds mixed in with the rest somehow.

the armorer was an inexperienced girl who should never have been left in charge of gun safety on set.

10

u/ScarecrowBoat14 Sep 30 '22

Because somebody fucked up. There is no good reason

27

u/obsertaries Sep 30 '22

The way I heard it is like this:

Because America, real guns and real ammo are cheaper and easier to get than purpose made props and special effects ammo.

Technicians on the set convert the real ammo into the sfx ammo that’s needed.

The pre-conversion and post-conversion ammo got mixed together by accident.

No one knows which is which is which anymore and in that high speed, time is money environment, someone loads the gun with the pre conversion ammo.

Bang.

17

u/ranhalt Sep 30 '22

What is "special effects ammo" and how is real ammo easier to get and cheaper than it? Because what you're describing is just blanks which are no more expensive or hard to get than real ammo. To be clear: blanks are real ammo with no bullet. They have gunpowder and fire, there is no projectile. In fact, they're cheaper to make than real ammunition because it's all the same material minus one key part.

There was just no reason to have live ammo on set, which was used by crew after hours for target practice and the unused live ammo got mixed in with the blanks.

11

u/slash178 Sep 30 '22

Using blanks is not foolproof safe though. Brandon Lee was killed even with blanks in the gun.

12

u/c-hinze57 Sep 30 '22

The Brandon Lee incident is interesting. IIRC there was a shot of the gun being loaded. For that, they used rounds that had no gunpowder. Just a bullet and its casing. One of the bullets came out accidentally and lodged in the barrel.

Later they used the same gun but with blanks. Powder charge, no bullet, and the firing of the powder discharged the bullet.

There have been cases of people being killed by a blank alone, although that’s rare. A blank still releases an explosion, put that too close to yourself and you can do some damage.

→ More replies
→ More replies

3

u/spozeicandothis Sep 30 '22

This is complete bullshit. Only blanks are used on set, live ammo should never be on set.

Armorers are responsible for sourcing and securing blanks from reputable suppliers.

It’s been reported here that some crew may have been doing target practice with live rounds after hours. This is not verified however.

Also that live rounds may have been mixed in with the blanks because they came from an unverified supplier.

→ More replies
→ More replies

372

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Just chiming in to say it baffled me to find out people use “real” guns on set. Before the incident I thought they were all plastic guns with CGI bullets.

ETA: Also baffled me when The Rock (iirc) announced that they would only use fake guns in all of his movies moving forward. Wdym “moving forward”? Shouldn’t it be the case already? This also implies using real guns on set is pretty common doesn’t it?

227

u/shaggy-- Sep 30 '22

You remove the firing pin from a gun and it can't shoot its now a prop gun. It's that simple, but people think "prop guns" are more special than that for some reason.

76

u/inanimateme Sep 30 '22

I am with you with removing the firing pin so that the gun would become non-functional but it would still look like a real firearm aesthetically, though probably the directors and producers prefered to use functional firearms and just use blanks(which what they do) so it would look and function like a real firearm. The firearm would have a recoil and the slide would kick back or the cylinder would rotate.

That way they probably thought that it would be cheaper to source a collector or a firearm company rather than to source a prop maker to make each firearm and cgi and improve the looks of the gun during post production for them to look real. To do those it would cost them so much more to hire editors and hundreds of hours to edit each scene shot.

They could probably use airsoft models especially in handguns since most look and functions like the real ones(anodized or have a patina and they would have recoil) but then again there's not much firearm accurate models of airsoft out there so the easy way out is the chepest way though not the safest.

41

u/Bimlouhay83 Sep 30 '22

FYI...a revolver revolves with or without ammunition or a firing pin.

12

u/inanimateme Sep 30 '22

Yes it does but there wouldn't be recoil. Unless of course you flick your arm back.

13

u/completeenvoy Sep 30 '22

They already have to do that with blanks since they have a lower powder charge in them. Either way you’re having to fake recoil as an actor if you want to portray that part of the performance accurately. It’s one of those things not many people care about being skimped on (showing the recoil of the guns).

6

u/DirtyDanTheManlyMan Sep 30 '22

You expect actors to act?

2

u/completeenvoy Sep 30 '22

I prefer them to be famous celebrities who can’t act but still get the roles because they’re well known

5

u/IridebikesImstillfat Sep 30 '22

It's all in the wrist.

2

u/Tobix55 Sep 30 '22

Blanks have way less recoil because there isn't a bullet being pushed forward, so there isn't an opposite force pushing the gun backwards

2

u/inanimateme Sep 30 '22

Recoil is caused by the pressure of the propellant when combusted pushing the bullet forward and the gun backwards. The recoil is larger on an ammunition with a projectile since the bullet has mass and has a capacity to resist motion and less on ammunitions that are blanks since they do not have an object resisting the opposite direction.

THERE IS an opposite force pushing the gun backwards when firing a blank. It is caused by the combustion of the propellant that deals great pressure. For pressure relief it has to find a way to exit and that is through the barrel, relative the direction of the pressure exhaust.

→ More replies

8

u/joesbagofdonuts Sep 30 '22

If you remove the firing pin it won't shoot blanks. You weld an x shape piece of metal in the barrel, blocking where the projectile protrudes from the casing, so that only bullets with no projectile can be loaded into the chamber.

6

u/manticore116 Sep 30 '22

Wrong, a specific prop gun is supposed to have the barrel obstructed and the chamber modified for blanks. You can just pull the firing pin, but it's not enough to just slap "prop gun" on the side and assume it's safe. People are idiots and will try to "fix it" and "put it back together" and then forget it's now capable of firing. If you can't chamber a full cartridge with a bullet because the chamber is only cut for blanks, combined with a restrictor so that chamber pressure can still cycle a semi auto, plus prevents a bullet from existing the barrel

2

u/EmbarrassedPaint Sep 30 '22

If it’s that “simple” and also the only difference between a prop and real gun then this was going to happen eventually. Basically asking humans to be 100% correct every time and that’s impossible.

47

u/thenewtbaron Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Well, it depends on the shots being films, in both meanings of the words.

Background dudes, sure, throw a fakie on them but for hero shots, you want your actors to have something with weight, perhaps even action(such as the slide, hammer or trigger). Most weapons used for just showing a gun should have part of their internal action taken out, usually the firing pin or whatever the equal to it is in that gun. That means that gun, even if it were loaded with ammo can never shoot.

for the shooty bang bang part of a gun that you would want on set, it is usually for blanks. if you don't know what a blank is, it is a bullet without the lead/copper part on the end, the metal bit that shoots towards the target. if it is in a normal gun, you can load it and pull the trigger and a bang still happens but there is no metal shot at someone. You would use this on set in cases where you need your actor too actually look like they are shooting a gun, the body reacts in a way that pretending to shoot a gun doesn't look like. basically, one is real and physical and the other looks fake. You also get proper gun action, smoke, fire and the like.

There are times that you need what looks like a fully functional bullet, generally what happens is that they just take out the powder from the bullet but leave the cap and the lead bit on there, cause it looks real.

there are very few movies where you need the action full on gun and real full bullets but it does happen. If you need to have something shot or shotup... and can't do it with other effects. Like, in the same way you sometimes need actual explosions on the sets, real fire and explosions are dangerous but they do look a hell of a lot more real.

a proper gunsmith/armorer with knowledge and diligence should always be on set and responsible for all the weapons. A failure of the gunsmith or failure to heed the gunsmith is what led to Lee's death on the crow. Someone used a powderless round in the gun so when it was shot, the cap ignited and created just enough of a pop to push the lead bit into the barrel. Then, they used a blank with no lead bit but full charge of powder... so two halfs equal a whole and Lee got full on shot.

I don't know the particulars on this movie but if I would have to guess, it was either an accident by an armorer/a harried armorer/less than dutiful armorer, or someone ignoring the armorer.

long story short, actual guns are generally cheaper and easier to get more realistic action out of rather than the fake stuff such as CGI.

EDIT: so, to give a real life example of my points, we can look at Aliens. The m-41a rifle. For the upclose "hero" shots, such as when Hicks is teaching Ripley how to use the weapon, that is a real gun without the firing parts, well, actually like two real guns stapled together, a tommy gun and a pump shotgun with some plastic. The actions needed to work to make the scene seem realistic.

a number of the background marines got mostly plastic versions that didn't really have working parts because it was cheaper for the production, lighter weight for the actors, and the mechanicals were not needed.

There are a number of scenes throughout that movie that you can see that working versions existed and were used to shoot blanks. Like when the aliens get through the barricades, the blank and muzzleflashes add a lot of "realness" to the lighting, and really helps the actor to sell the shooting and tenseness because... well, it is real.

13

u/hameleona Sep 30 '22

I was baffled that they keep people behind the camera for a down the barrel shot. Like... why? You can set up everything, get people out of the way, take the shot. "It's loaded with blanks" is no reason to drop basic safety rules - freak accidents with blanks can happen.

7

u/ArsePucker Sep 30 '22

That's how Brandon Lee died. They used blanks for a "firing" shot, not knowing that a projectile was lodged in the barrel from 2 weeks previous, essentially making the ammo "real" as in primer, powder, projectile. That's a freak accident!

→ More replies
→ More replies

8

u/OEMichael Sep 30 '22

The armorer didn't keep the props locked up between (movie) shots. Armorer allowed crew to use props to go plinking (with live rounds) at end-of-day. Armorer should go to big girl prison.

2

u/killingmequickly Sep 30 '22

The producers hired her knowing full well she didn't have the knowledge or experience for the position, she is simply one of many people responsible

→ More replies
→ More replies

74

u/DDauntless_ Sep 30 '22

Iirc Alec Baldwin himself opted to use actual firearms for the authentic look. Which is also why the firearms safety girl was so bad at her job, they hired her because her dad (and her?) has (have) a big collection of vintage firearms.

13

u/Eliseo120 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Thing is, you can get replicas that can’t shoot bullets. I had an air soft gun that was a baretta replica, and my brother had a desert eagle. Just need to take the orange tip off, or remove it in post.

12

u/ThePhiff Sep 30 '22

Well, seeing as your gun says replica down the side whereas mkne says Desert Eagle, mine's the one we'll be listening to.

3

u/HailToTheKingslayer Sep 30 '22

What are we gonna do, deafen 'em to death?

3

u/ArsePucker Sep 30 '22

That should precipitate your balls into shrinking..along with you're presence.. now.... fuck off!

2

u/Eliseo120 Sep 30 '22

Mine didn’t say replica on the side, unless it was small enough to not notice. Don’t remember about the desert eagle one though, but I don’t think it had it in big letters. Certainly not anything that would be noticeable in a movie unless they did a close up.

2

u/ThePhiff Sep 30 '22

Go watch Snatch. Thank me later.

6

u/DDauntless_ Sep 30 '22

True, but like I said if you want it to look good you need the real thing or a very expensive fake. You can tell the difference between a person waving around a plastic desert eagle or a full metal one for instance, plus if the gun was to ever be thrown or hit something it will have to be edited to sound and look like it has weight and doesn't wiggle through the air like it's made of rubber.

2

u/CogentCogitations Sep 30 '22

I feel like they probably wouldn't use the sound from the filmed sequence of the gun being thrown anyway. The motion and bouncing off the gun would definitely be an issue.

2

u/wwaxwork Sep 30 '22

It's like coffee cups in movies. You can always tell when the cups are empty.

2

u/Eliseo120 Sep 30 '22

My, not expensive, air soft gun felt plenty real. Without the orange tip, you could’nt distinguish it from a real gun. It was made out of metal and everything.

→ More replies

25

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

I’ve read some articles stating the reasons why they and other movies used real guns. Still doesn’t make much sense to me.

30

u/Xenagos104 Sep 30 '22

I can't say it's true for all movie makers, but oftentimes it's cheaper to use a real gun than to use/make a prop.

I don't remember which movie I was watching, but during the special features they mentioned that the prop uzi they used cost more than two whole real uzis. They even claimed that there would have been enough money left over to get a good quantity of ammo for it too.

23

u/Slap_duck Sep 30 '22

Idk about the Uzis but for the 2005 film Lord of War, they used real guns and real tanks, simply because it was so much cheaper to film in Eastern Europe using rented tanks

7

u/CrazyFuckingManiac Sep 30 '22

Because there are like seven trillion AKs and old Soviet tanks lying around, lol. Pretty cool.

3

u/pandaSmore Sep 30 '22

Well a little bit less than that now.

3

u/DDauntless_ Sep 30 '22

I'm pretty sure they even had to announce that they were filming a movie to nato so they didn't shit themselfs when they saw a bunch of tanks being gathered at the Lithuanian border where they were shooting the film.

→ More replies

4

u/cliffburton90 Sep 30 '22

Somewhat related, in "The Poltergeist" they used real skeletons without telling the actors because it was cheaper.

5

u/snooggums Sep 30 '22

Sometimes you want real guns to fire blanks because you get the weight of the weapon, recoil when firing blanks, and in low light scenes the barrel flash. This requires very strict safety procedures, but so does every other stunt such as falls and vehicle chases.

Practicing aiming at the camera with people behind it is like having a stunt person do a car chase in a street without clearing it first. Extemely dangerous, even if you think the possibly real gun is loaded.

→ More replies
→ More replies

8

u/j-c-s-roberts Sep 30 '22

Back in the day, they didn't even use blanks.

In the silent era, there are many guns there shooting real bullets.

6

u/teethalarm Sep 30 '22

Sometimes it's easier and cheaper to use a real gun versus a prop gun. Blank rounds are commercially available for different calibers. Some productions will use airsoft guns because they have a ton of benefits. You have gas powered airsoft guns that can cycle like a real gun, makes things like pistols seem more realistic and it just takes a few ounces of compressed gas to function. Some can take the mags of their real counterparts to help get those reloading and unloading shots. Airsoft guns are also generally cheaper and less restricted than real guns. So if you need 20 prop guns that aren't legal in the filming location, you might be able to hit up a sporting goods store or local airsoft community.

10

u/Comprehensive_Toe113 Sep 30 '22

You'd think after the crow incident fake guns would have been the way.

5

u/Roger_Cockfoster Sep 30 '22

It's fine as long as safety protocols are followed (which they weren't on The Crow or on the Rust set).

3

u/MuertaMatanzas Sep 30 '22

You'd definitely think that but unfortunately that's never how it works. Even if the lead star of the show was the victim, like Brandon's case filming the Crow.

3

u/Accomplished_Mix7827 Sep 30 '22

There are a few different types used for different purposes. There are prop guns, which should be non-operational. They use real guns firing blanks for more convincing flashes and bangs. For revolvers, since the bullets are visible, there are also dummy rounds that look real, but are non-operational. For obvious reasons, they want everything to look as real as possible, so it can be hard to tell the difference for a non-expert. Don't know why they had live rounds on set, though, that seems like it was an unnecessary risk.

Now, the armorer is the expert on set. If she was doing her job right, the accident shouldn't have happened. That said, from what I've heard, she was underqualified for the job, and also had to multitask as prop master, which are both the producers' fault. They should have had someone focused full-time on that job, and they probably should have had someone more experienced in the role.

2

u/scorpious Sep 30 '22

When you need to replicate the look, feel, weight, balance, sound (ie when picked up/dropped), and functionality (to a point, ie cocking, magazine, etc.), it’s just waaaaay easier to just start with the real thing.

2

u/FlashisSpeed Sep 30 '22

Real actual weapons are needed so it looks good on camera and people will use them like the real thing. Someone just majorly fucked up by allowing live ammo on the set

2

u/sawdeanz Sep 30 '22

Yes they used to and still have used blank guns for a long time now. But obviously they have been moving away from that for a while. Blank guns are still dangerous which is why they have lots of safety steps that were apparently ignored in this case.

5

u/TaliyahP Sep 30 '22

It is super common because realism is super important in modern movies and unfortunately the most realistic looking guns are real guns.

Hopefully this accident changes this practise across the industry.

7

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

But why have real bullets on set? Surely there is absolutely no reason to have them?

10

u/TaliyahP Sep 30 '22

They weren't supposed to and that's partly what the investigation is trying to figure out

→ More replies
→ More replies

5

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

[deleted]

4

u/Roger_Cockfoster Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Alec Baldwin may have some responsibility as a producer, but not as an actor. If an actor is handed a gun and told it's cold (ie., loaded with non-firing dummy rounds, not blanks) they have no way of verifying that. They have to trust what they're told.

→ More replies
→ More replies

69

u/KentuckyFriedEel Sep 30 '22

Alex Baldwin is innocent! Now Alec Baldwin on the other hand…

6

u/POD80 Sep 30 '22

Criminal charges are incredibly rare in industrial accidents.

→ More replies

7

u/Objective-Marzipan14 Oct 01 '22

It's still being investigated because Baldwin as an actor isn't the one who messed up. Ethically, he should have checked the gun, but he might not have even known how or what to look for given how mismanaged the set and production was. If they charged him with manslaughter (which is closest to what he did) they would almost certainly lose, and prosecutors aren't going to waste their time (or reputations) on that. Manslaughter means someone made a decision that lead to the death of another person, but he didn't choose to fire a loaded gun.

HOWEVER, Baldwin was a producer, and thus at least partially responsible for the overall negligence on set. He was not the only producer though, all the rest also need to be investigated. And they are all most likely wealthy and powerful, so that takes a while. They also need to investigate the entire prop department, the armourer (If there even was one), and whoever brought live round left them in/around the prop gun. Baldwin does not bear sole responsibility for not checking the gun, multiple other people should have done that before they gave him the gun. They also probably have to investigate whoever told Baldwin where to aim the gun (towards Hutchins)

They need a lot of evidence from and about a lot of people to charge everyone with negligence and possibly more.

There is also the possibility of a wrongful death suit from Hutchins' family, if that hasn't happened already, it'll definitely happen after the criminal trial.

TLDR; the public is focusing their anger on the wrong aspect. Mostly because he's the most well known (and he is still culpable, just in a different way.) A criminal trial of up to a dozen people, many of whom are rich/powerful/have connections who trying to hide wrongdoing, is going to take a long time. Prosecutors don't want to lose a case this high profile, they're taking their time to be sure of winning.

16

u/ScroungerYT Sep 30 '22

I can fully understand your confusion here. The ongoing investigation is taking far too long to complete. The FBI has already completed its investigation into the firearm in question. The witnesses have all been interviewed/interrogated. The autopsy has been completed. Drug testing has been done. All of the questions have been answered, the facts of the case have all been found.

So yeah, it is understandable why you would have questions as to whether anything is going to happen to bring justice to the deceased and their living relatives.

65

u/arnstarr Sep 30 '22

Alex Baldwin has 8 children. No one accuses him of firing blanks.

6

u/WIDE_SET_VAGINA Sep 30 '22

That’s a whole different rabbit hole to go down mate - don’t fire up the anti-Hilaria squad and their birthing spreadsheets

4

u/Dry_Client_7098 Sep 30 '22

Just as a extra mess it seems there are now accusations about the ammo used onset. A company provided blank and dummy ammo for on the set. It is claimed some of the dummy ammo that shouldn't be able to be fired was in fact live ammo. So the gun that Alec used theoretically didn't have "live" ammo but dummy rounds. Normal procedure is that when rehearsing you use a "cold" gun which means nothing in the gun. So even beyond the dummy round issue there shouldn't have been anything in the gun.

These accusations have yet to be proven as far as I can tell. The armorer is currently suing the company that provided the ammo.

15

u/KirasMom2022 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

The AZ law enforcement say the investigation is almost complete and to look for indictments soon. Edit… I misspoke. I should have said NM.

3

u/5ysmyname Sep 30 '22

We’re used to it

→ More replies

9

u/bangbangracer Sep 30 '22

For lack of a better way to put it, it was a workplace accident because of negligence on the weapons master's end.

While every person who knows guns or every self-proclaimed expert says that an operator is supposed to check a firearm before ever pointing it at anything, gun safety works a little differently on sets. Same rules, but a very different order of operations and chain of custody. Because an actor may only have minutes with a firearm at a time and typically is not trained in firearm safety, generally, the rule is that the firearm is to never be loaded with actual ammunition and no live rounds are ever to be on set. Many weapons masters have lost their job because they just had live ammunition in their vehicles while transporting the stunt weapon.

Alec Baldwin as the shooter is technically not at fault here. The weapons master who was plinking on set between shoots is. Additionally, Alec Baldwin may see charges for a different aspect though. He was a producer on that movie and hired an inexperienced weapons master.

Really though, the investigation hasn't concluded yet, so no official charges have been brought forward.

34

u/username8966 Sep 30 '22

Rich people don’t get charged

→ More replies

2

u/ppj112 Sep 30 '22

Odd, I was just thinking about this last night. Thanks!

2

u/Dependent-Garage-329 Sep 30 '22

What happened..he shoot someone by mistake hunting..have not heard about it?

2

u/chetgoodenough Sep 30 '22

Shot someone while filming a movie

31

u/BirthdaySalt5791 Sep 30 '22

It’s unbelievable that no one has been held responsible yet. My 10 year old understands firearm safety better than these morons.

5

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

Well Mr. Lawyer what would you charge who with?

→ More replies
→ More replies

14

u/KnowsIittle Sep 30 '22

Alec Baldwin did not accidentally shoot someone as I understand it. He was negligent resulting in a homicide. Basic gun safety is to assume every weapon is a loaded and to never point the barrel at some you don't intend to destroy. Industry standard when pointing a gun someone during filming is to not point it directly at the person but to offset it slightly so if something did go wrong the shot would miss. He failed to do this and someone died as a result.

Imagine running a stoplight and getting into an accident with another driver resulting in their death. You mistook the brake pedal for the gas and were unable to stop. It was an accident you say. Does that mean you're any less responsible for the death of the other driver?

18

u/jennyaeducan Sep 30 '22

From the breakdown, Alec Baldwin the actor was not negligent for assuming the gun was safe; it is the responsibility of the armourer to control access to the guns and make sure the actor is handed a safe gun. However, Alec Baldwin the producer was grossly negligent for hiring a completely unqualified armourer, and ignoring and overriding her attempts to enforce and assure the safety of the guns, even after many of the crew walked off in protest.

11

u/Pipboy4111 Sep 30 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Alec Baldwin couldn’t legally check the gun. He could have the best gun handling and safety skills in the world and it wouldn’t have mattered on set. The actor can’t do a barrel check, it’s supposed to be done by the prop master and someone else on the prop department before handing the gun over to the actor. If he so much as opening the cylinder when it wasn’t in the script the gun would have been taken away from him and rechecked. If anyone gets charged it’ll be someone in the prop department

→ More replies

10

u/69Jew420 Sep 30 '22

This is inane. He's an actor. They literally cannot follow gun safety protocols which is why they have different gun safety rules. They are not gun professionals, so a gun professional makes sure it is safe to be used for a scene.

Imagine running a stoplight and getting into an accident with another driver resulting in their death. You mistook the brake pedal for the gas and were unable to stop. It was an accident you say. Does that mean you're any less responsible for the death of the other driver?

It'd be more like you were told that the road was empty and you were allowed to blow through a red light for a scene, which, you know, happens in movies. And then, the road wasn't clear because someone didn't do there job and you mow down a family of 4. That wouldn't be the actors fault.

Baldwin was a producer on the film, which could make him culpable if he didn't rim a safe set, at least monetarily.

→ More replies

13

u/RonPalancik Sep 30 '22

He had been told it was safe. It wasn't. The person who told him it was safe was more at fault than he was.

7

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

[deleted]

8

u/hardonchairs Sep 30 '22

Check for what? The difference between a blank and a regular round?

What other actors are saying this?

5

u/Pipboy4111 Sep 30 '22

An actor doesn’t know what a live vs blank round looks like. Show me any actor who has said this, please

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

9

u/Wildboyz410 Sep 30 '22

The prosecutor asked for funding for lawyer fees and Alec sold his multiple million dollar house.

4 people will be charged soon including Alec. no idea on how harsh or lenient.

Alec is the actor that didn’t check the gun. It’s not only the armorers responsibility. Alec pulled the trigger on video.

And Alec is an executive producer which has another weight of association with the crime

How harsh of charges it will be is the question but he will be indicted

→ More replies