FBI concludes Alec Baldwin pulled trigger in Rust shooting, criminal charges still a possibility

The FBI has reportedly concluded that the gun involved in the death last October of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins must have been fired by actor Alec Baldwin, despite his claim to the contrary.

“Accidental discharge testing determined that the firearm used in the shooting — a .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver — could not have fired without the trigger being pulled,” ABC News reported Friday, citing a just-released FBI forensics report.

“With the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the gun ‘could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,’ the report stated. With the hammer fully cocked, the gun ‘could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.'”

“With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer ‘without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,’ which is normal for this type of revolver, the report stated.”

In other words, Baldwin pulled the trigger — either by accident or on purpose — of the gun that killed Hutchins as they were recording the since-suspended film “Rust” at a location near La Cienega, New Mexico last October.

This finding contradicts Baldwin’s long-maintained claim that he didn’t pull the trigger.

“The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. … I would never point a gun at anybody and pull a trigger at them. Never,” he said in an interview last December with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

What remains unclear is what happens next.

According to ABC News, the forensic report “is part of a criminal [homicide] investigation into the on-set shooting.”

The homicide investigation is reportedly being conducted by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation comes in spite of the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator having classified Hutchins’ death as an accident.

“Death was caused by a gunshot wound of the chest. Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” a postmortem report reviewed by ABC News states.

Despite this classification, Baldwin reportedly could still face charges — and to hear some of his colleagues tell it, he probably should.

Hutchins died when a so-called “prop gun” containing live ammunition was somehow triggered as Baldwin was holding it during the Oct. 21st recording of “Rust.”

During a podcast interview about two weeks after the shooting, fellow Hollywood actor Clooney slammed Baldwin, saying that every time he’s ever been handed a gun on set, he’s personally checked it for safety purposes.

“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set, every time they hand me a gun I look at it, I open it. I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, I show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you’re done,” he said.

His point was that even if the shooting was an accident, it was nevertheless an accident predicated on Baldwin’s potentially felonious negligence.

Baldwin bizarrely responded a couple months later by claiming he’d been taught to NOT check his prop guns.

“What I was taught by someone years ago was as I said, if I took a gun and I popped a clip out of a gun, or I manipulated the chamber of a gun, they would take the gun away from me and redo it. The prop person said, ‘Don’t do that,’ when I was young,” he alleged.

“And they’d say, ‘One thing you would need to understand is we don’t want the actor to be the last line or defense against a catastrophic breach of safety with the gun. My job,’ they told me, man or woman, ‘My job is to make sure the gun is safe, and then I hand you the gun and I declare the gun safe.’”

“The crew’s not relying on you to say that it’s safe. They’re relying on me to say that it’s safe. When that person who was charged with that job handed me the weapon, I trusted them, and I never had a problem,” Baldwin continued.

“From day one. There’s one person that’s supposed to make sure that what is in the gun is right, and that what’s wrong is not in the gun. One person has that responsibility to maintain the gun.”

Even if Baldwin isn’t ultimately charged, he’s facing a number of lawsuits over the shooting, including one from the deceased’s family.

“The family of a cinematographer shot and killed on the set of the film “Rust” is suing Alec Baldwin and the movie’s producers for wrongful death, their attorneys said Tuesday,” PBS News reported in February.

“Lawyers for the family of Halyna Hutchins announced the lawsuit filed in New Mexico in the name of Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son, Andros, at a Los Angeles news conference.”

The “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures” of Baldwin and the film’s producers “led to the death of Halyna Hutchins,” their attorney, Brian Pannish, said.


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