Contradicting Alec Baldwin’s prior claims, the FBI forensic report on the Rust fatal shooting case claims that the gun used in the accident could not have been fired without pulling the trigger.
Baldwin, the film’s producer and lead actor, shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set last year. He said he believed he was handling a “cold gun” without live ammunition. However, when the gun fired, a live bullet struck Hutchins, killing her. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting.
The FBI’s accidental discharge testing determined that .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver needed a trigger pull to fire.
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.
It added that the gun could not detonate “without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly.” Such response is normal for this type of revolver, the report stated.
The report, first carried by ABC-TV, contradicts what Baldwin claimed in a December interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Baldwin said then he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun.
“The trigger wasn’t pulled,” he said. “I didn’t pull the trigger.”
Representatives for Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who controlled weapons on the set, have not responded to the report.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigators say that they received the FBI’s completed forensic reports August 2, which were then sent to New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator for review. “The OMI had advised the Sheriff’s Office that they required these forensic reports to finalize their investigation,” reads a release from the Sheriff’s Office, which received the reports Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Santa Fe County Sheriffs are still working with the Suffolk County Police Department and First Judicial District Attorney’s Office to get, process and disclose the Oscar-nominated Baldwin’s phone records. Once the office reviews the OMI files and Baldwin’s phone records, they’ll send the final Rust case file to the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office for final charging decisions.
“The District Attorney’s office has been working with Suffolk County PD and Baldwin’s lawyer to acquire the phone records. Once Suffolk County PD completes its agency assist and sends those records to New Mexico law enforcement, our detectives will need to then thoroughly review those phone records for evidentiary purposes,” Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said.
The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office didn’t respond for a request for comment on the state of the probe.
Baldwin’s attorney said in April that the OSHA investigation “exonerates” Baldwin. The report (read a summary here) concluded that Rust Movie Productions LLC’s management “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action” when the fatal incident occurred October 21, when Baldwin, the star of such movies as The Aviator and Boss Baby, was given the all-clear by the First AD to discharge a prop gun, which took Hutchins’ life.
Recently, Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell’s lawsuit against Baldwin and other producers was rescheduled for September 28. Judge Michael E. Whitaker moved the hearing to give the plaintiff the option and time to file an amended complaint. Mitchell was standing next to Hutchins when she was fatally shot and claims extensive negligence on the New Mexico set and that the scene for Baldwin was rehearsing never called for him to fire the weapon.
Anthony D’alessandro and Dominic Patten contributed to this report.
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