An official report from the New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office states that Alec Baldwin’s deadly shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” was accidental. A medical investigator’s report and numerous FBI reports on the gun and ammunition recovered after the shooting were released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Based on a recent FBI analysis, it appeared that the gun would not have gone off without the trigger being pulled, disputing Baldwin’s claims that it did not. Charges in the case may still be filled. According to prosecutors, they will review the latest reports and await Baldwin’s lawyers’ cell phone data before making a decision on whether to file charges.
On Oct. 21, Baldwin pointed a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, which went off, killing her and injuring the film’s director, Joel Souza. The group had been in a small church during the set up to film a scene. The legal team of the actor aggressively defended him following the recent revelations and highlighted the findings of the medical examiner.
“This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was ‘cold’ and believed the gun was safe,” attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement, as reported on CBS News.
In an interview in December of last year, Baldwin claimed he pointed the gun at Hutchins on the set of the Western as it went off after he pulled it. He declared that he never pulled the trigger. However, FBI analysis of the gun indicated that it had been properly cocked and would have only fired if the trigger had been pulled, suggesting it was working at the time.
During FBI testing of the weapon, authorities have reported that parts of the trigger and cylinder stop were ruptured as the hammer was struck. As a result, the hammer fell and the firing pin detonated the primer. “This was the only successful discharge during this testing and it was attributed to the fracture of internal components, not the failure of the firearm or safety mechanisms,” the report stated. The gun should not have been loaded for the repetition, according to Baldwin.
Based on the scathing report released by the New Mexico Office of Occupational Safety and Health in April, there were numerous incidents of safety violations that violated industry standards and it was alleged that production officials took limited or no action in response to two on-set misfires before the shooting. Weapons specialists were not authorized to decide about further training for gun safety and gun safety complaints from crew members went unheeded, per the office.
The New Mexico medical investigator’s office concluded that the shooting was an accident because there was “no clear intent to harm or kill” and declared that there was “no convincing demonstration” specifically demonstrating that the gun had been loaded with live ammunition.