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Actor Alec Baldwin has been lying low after what has been called an accidental discharge of a prop gun on the set of "Rust," a movie being filmed in Santa Fe, N.M., that killed Hutchins and injured the film's director, Joel Souza. Baldwin, who has not been charged, had not been seen in New Mexico for days since the shooting.

Sunday and Monday, however, the family was spotted on the streets of Manchester, where many locals saw them dining and getting takeout in area restaurants

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MANCHESTER — The sighting of Alec Baldwin on Sunday on the streets of Manchester, just days after he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set, had social media popping with pictures of the celebrity and his family in Vermont, and national press clamoring for details of the actor’s visit.

Closer to home, Manchester residents were less enthralled, arguing Baldwin and his family deserved their privacy.

“The Manchester community really values the privacy of our residents and visitors,” said Town Manager John O’Keefe. “Manchester is the kind of place people just go about their own business.”

Baldwin has been lying low after what has been called an accidental discharge of a prop gun on the set of “Rust,” a movie being filmed in Santa Fe, N.M., that killed Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza. Baldwin, who has not been charged, had not been seen in New Mexico for days since the shooting.

Sunday and Monday, however, the family was spotted on the streets of Manchester, where many locals saw them dining and getting takeout in area restaurants, including Christo’s, a pizza shop on Main Street in downtown Manchester, and other locations in town. Reports have the Baldwins eating in Christo’s on Sunday evening, and Baldwin was photographed Monday heading back for take-out.

The Baldwins have strong connections to the Northshire. Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria’s grandfather established roots in Arlington and was a prominent resident there. David Lloyd Thomas Sr., of Arlington and Massachusetts, died on March 2, 2020, at the age of 92. Among the survivors listed in Thomas’ obituary was, “Hilaria Baldwin and husband Alec of New York City.”

Thomas and his wife, Mary Lou, traveled to Arlington to research genealogical roots and found that his family’s connection to the area predated the American Revolution, according to the published obituary. They ended up purchasing a summer cottage and later a farmhouse in East Arlington, and made the area their home while spending time in New York City and Massachusetts.

According to his obituary, Thomas was a trustee for the Bennington Museum and of the Vermont Historical Society. He and his wife spent time “preserving, building, and curating the Russell Vermontiana Collection,” which is now at the Martha Canfield Library. He was one of the founders of the Arlington Townscape Association, which, according to the obituary, was responsible for a book about the history of Arlington.

Although the Baldwins were seen around Manchester earlier this week, few knew about their presence in the Northshire until the national media reported it. A photograph circulated around the globe Thursday, showing Baldwin in front of The Italian Market, an iconic Manchester business on Main Street owned by Chris Stannard. Although Baldwin never entered the business, Stannard said his phone started ringing the moment the picture ran.

“I got bombarded yesterday as soon as I got in the door,” Stannard said Friday. “I personally didn’t feel like it was that groundbreaking, but then the phone kept ringing.”

Then media outlets began showing up and wanting to interview him.

“I was asked questions, and I gave honest answers,” Stannard said. “I never saw him. I had no idea he had been in town. ... I just heard he was here.”

But that didn’t prevent local residents from calling him out on social media, accusing him of “outing” Baldwin and his family to the press.

“The reaction I got almost immediately was that I outed Alec Baldwin,” Stannard said. “It took the wind out of my sails. After [Thursday], I would never want to be a celebrity, I can tell you that.”

Stannard said he understands and wants visitors to feel safe here, adding, “We’re a small community. I feel safe here, and I think everyone who visits should feel safe here. I do believe this town is a great, safe community.”

Chrissy Carroccio, a prominent Realtor in Manchester, echoed local public sentiment that the Baldwins deserved their privacy. Carroccio said she was in the restaurant with the Baldwins but never once thought about turning around and asking them questions.

She heard them talking about being in the community, noting that Alec Baldwin told someone “they were not holed-up in a house because they are trying to keep their sanity.”

“This family has young children,” Carroccio said. To be reporting on this is so not Vermont. It’s kind of embarrassing as a community. People come to Vermont to breathe and be who they are.”

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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