Alec Baldwin Possibly ‘Didn’t Pull the Trigger’ in Deadly Shooting on ‘Rust’ Set, Says DA

© AP Photo / Evan AgostiniActor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York.
Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2022
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on the set of the film "Rust" last October after Alec Baldwin fired from a weapon that was believed to be a prop. The Golden Globe-winning actor has denied being at fault, insisting he did not know there was a live cartridge inside, and claiming during an ABC interview that he “didn’t pull the trigger”.
There is a possibility that actor Alec Baldwin may have fired the shot that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust” last year without pulling the gun’s trigger, according to Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
“You can pull the hammer back without actually pulling the trigger and without actually locking it. So you pull it back partway, it doesn’t lock, and then if you let it go, the firing pin can hit the primer of the bullet,” Carmack-Altwies said in an interview for Vanity Fair.
Golden Globe-winning Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin, who was also a producer on the Western, was pointing a gun he believed was a prop at Hutchins inside a small church during the rehearsal of a scene on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico on 21 October when it went off, killing the cinematographer and wounding the director, Joel Souza.
In his bombshell ABC interview last December, Alec Baldwin had tearfully claimed he did not pull the trigger.
“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never,” said the star.
Assistant director Dave Halls had confirmed to Baldwin the gun was “cold” (did not contain real bullets) upon handing it to him. Novice armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed had prepped the weapon.
In late February, the District Attorney’s office is to receive a forensics report from the FBI’s crime lab regarding the live round of ammunition that killed Hutchins, which may offer insight into who physically handled it. Meanwhile, Carmack-Altwies is unofficially investigating Baldwin’s claims that he had only pulled back the hammer of the gun before it went off.
“I didn’t know too much about guns, certainly not about 1850s-era revolvers. So when I first heard that, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy,’ ” Carmack-Altwies, was cited by VF as saying.
However, intrigued, the DA requested that one of her investigators bring in his own old-style revolver to her office. Carmack-Altwies sought to personally test if a mechanical malfunction could have caused the gun to go off.
Together with two investigators, who first inspected the gun to confirm it was not loaded, they then carried out the test, to preliminarily reveal that the hammer could have caused the live round to fire.
Last October, Santa Fe sheriff Adan Mendoza said at a press conference that about 500 cartridges had been recovered from the set.
“That is a mix of blanks, dummy rounds, and what we are suspecting are live rounds,” he said.
Dummies are props that only look like bullets, loosely filled with tiny ball bearings (BBs) that rattle. Blanks are brass casings loaded with explosive powder to create a bang but have no projectile. Live rounds, however, “shouldn’t have been there”, Mendoza told reporters.
Members of the media watch an animated presentation re-enactment of the accident with Halyna Hutchins, who was accidentally shot dead by actor Alec Baldwin, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 15, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.02.2022
Lawyers for Hutchins' Family Release Video Simulation of Alec Baldwin's Prop Gun Shooting
On 15 February the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins sued Alec Baldwin and the movie’s producers, alleging it was their “callous” disregard for safety complaints that led to her death.
As they announced the “wrongful death” lawsuit at a press conference, lawyers for Hutchins’ husband claimed Baldwin had rejected any training for the “cross-draw” he was performing on the set when he fired the lethal shot. In response, Baldwin’s lawyer rejected claims the actor was reckless as “entirely false.”
No criminal charges have yet been brought in the ongoing case.
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