New information in the ‘Rust’ film set tragedy has been perplexing the investigation, as both Alec Baldwin and Assistant Director Dave Halls claimed that the trigger wasn’t pulled in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Investigators were previously pretty confident that a lead-based projectile was loaded into the pop gun that misfired right after Baldwin pointed the gun at the camera. Now, their story is changing.
In an hour-long interview premiering tonight on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, Alec Baldwin will reportedly claim that he “didn’t pull the trigger” in the accident, meaning that the gun somehow went off by other, unknown means.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Alec Baldwin said in a preview of the ABC special airing at 8 p.m. Thursday night. Breaking down in tears, he stated that he “would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.”
Authorities have been following leads to investigate where the live rounds found on set came from, leading them to gun supplier and armor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s mentor Seth Kenney, but these new claims have put a potential snag in the case.
“I’ve known Alec for several years, and I’ve never seen him like this,” George Stephanopoulos said on Good Morning America. “He’s crushed, but he’s also very, very candid.”
“I think back and I think of what could I have done?” Baldwin said. “She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with [her] and liked by everyone who worked with [her], and admired… I mean, even now I find it hard to believe that [she’s gone]. It doesn’t seem real to me.”
According to ABC News, Rust AD Dave Halls has also claimed that Alec Baldwin never fired the gun, which was echoed by his lawyer, Lisa Torraco.
“Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger,” Torraco revealed in an interview with Good Morning America. Baldwin’s “finger was never in the trigger guard,” Halls told her, claiming that “since day one he thought it was a misfire.”
“It was a pure accident,” Torraco said, “freak, awful accident [that] unfortunately killed somebody.”
Authorities are not convinced, however, confused by Alec Baldwin and Dave Halls’ recent claims. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adam Mendoza responded to the claims, saying that, “guns don’t just go off.”
It’s possible that Baldwin and Halls are attempting to take some heat off their names as lawsuits come in and authorities come closer to potentially pressing charges in the investigation, but it’s also possible that they are both telling the truth.
“Until Alec said that, it was just really hard to believe,” Lisa Torraco said about Dave Halls’ claim that Baldwin never fired the gun.
Experts maintain that it is possible for older, antique guns to accidentally fire, but that it is incredibly rare.
Sheriff Adam Mendoza maintains that “whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.” Some armorers, however, told the New York Post that misfires due to mechanical failures have occurred in very rare situations.
“In order to make it fire, you have to put your thumb up onto the hammer, cock the hammer all the way back, and then as the hammer is completely cocked back, then you pull the trigger, and then the gun fires,” weapons armorer Bryan Carpenter explained. “So that’s very important because that gun had to have a two-step process to fire. It had to be cocked and the trigger pulled to fire.”
Previous police reports claimed that the gun was fired by Alec Baldwin, a point that seemed to not be under any contention at the time.