Alec Baldwin will not be charged with the shooting of "Rust" Director Joel Souza, despite the fact he was hit by the same bullet the D.A. says was fired recklessly and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins ... and now we know why.
The Santa Fe District Attorney's Office tells TMZ … there's just no crime when it comes to the Souza incident.
The D.A. says the only way to characterize the shooting of Souza is an "unintentional battery," and no such thing exists. A battery requires intent, and even the D.A. says Baldwin had no intention to hurt anyone. The case against Baldwin is rooted in alleged recklessness.
There's been lots of criticism against the D.A. in the wake of the announcement Baldwin will be chargedwith manslaughter for the death of Halyna. Actor Douglas Stewart, who shot a scene in "Rust" before the fatal incident, appeared on "TMZ Live" Friday and said he's been on movie sets with guns for decades, and NEVER has an actor checked the chamber of a gun ... in fact, he says they're prohibited from doing so. Stewart says they rely on the experts -- the armorer.
If the case goes to trial, it's certain Baldwin's lawyers will argue the actor merely followed long-standing custom, so that would in no way constitute recklessness.
There's also criticism the D.A. will be charging Baldwin because of his Executive Producer role in the movie. Stewart says Baldwin was not running the show -- his E.P. credit was really just so he could get back-end profits.
Baldwin is expected to be formally charged for Halyna's death by month's end.