Alec Baldwin Says He Is Not Responsible For Fatal “Rust” Shooting
Actor Alec Baldwin has fiercely insisted that he was not to blame in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a western shot in New Mexico, claiming that another person had accidentally placed a bullet in the weapon that had fired in his hand so he was rehearsing a scene.
“Someone put a live bullet into a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Mr. Baldwin said in a television interview that aired Thursday night. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t tell who it is, but I know it’s not me.”
Mr Baldwin made the comments in a moving ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, the first time Mr Baldwin publicly reported on what happened in October. The actor’s description of the episode may throw a more in-depth look at the crew members and vendors and the question of who was responsible for protecting guns in low-budget production.
In the interview, excerpts of which aired Wednesday, Mr Baldwin also said he did not pull the trigger on the gun he was training with on the set of “Rust” when fired live ammunition.
“I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger – never,” Mr. Baldwin said.
The fatal shooting took place on October 21 near Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a film set designed to be a church. Mr Baldwin was practicing firing an old-fashioned revolver that he had been told did not contain live ammunition when he suddenly fired, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring its director, Joel Souza, 48 years old.
Mr Baldwin said he was stunned by what happened and at least 45 minutes passed after the shot was fired before he realized he could have contained an actual bullet.
What happened on the set of “Rust”
“I stood over her for 60 seconds as she just lay there in shock,” Mr. Baldwin said.
The actor added that he did not cock the hammer with the pistol, but shot it as far as he could and let go in an action that could have triggered it. “I let go of the hammer – bang, the gun goes off.”
Investigators are looking to determine how a live bullet entered the gun Mr. Baldwin was training with, why members of the team who inspected it on set failed to notice, and why the gun went off. drawn.
Mr Baldwin’s claim that he did not pull the trigger was supported by an attorney for the film’s assistant director Dave Halls, who was standing next to Mr Baldwin inside the church when the shot was fired.
Lawyer Lisa Torraco told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” Thursday that Mr. Halls told her that “the whole time Baldwin had his finger on the outside of the trigger guard, parallel to the canon “. She said Mr Halls told her that “from day one he thought it was a dud”.
In the ABC interview, Mr Baldwin also said he recalled shortly before the shooting Mr Halls told him: “This is a cold weapon”, an industry term implying that the weapon gun does not have live ammunition and is safe to use.
“When he says, ‘It’s a cold gun,’ what he says to everyone on set is, ‘You can relax,’ Mr Baldwin said.
Mr Baldwin, who has come under heavy criticism after the shooting, has already been questioned by detectives and is cooperating with the investigation. No one was charged in the shooting, and the authorities did not blame anyone.
“I’ve had countless people online like, ‘Dumbass, you never point a gun at someone,’” Mr. Baldwin said. “Well, unless we tell you it’s empty and the cinematographer tells you which angle we’re going to shoot.” “
Some gun experts have said it was possible the weapon, a single-action revolver, would have discharged without Mr. Baldwin pulling the trigger if he had pulled the hammer back on the gun. and let him go before he was fully armed. But they wondered if that would have created enough force to fire the actual bullet.
Clay Van Sickle, a film industry gunsmith who didn’t work on “Rust,” said guns usually only go off when someone pulls the trigger. “Unless this weapon was in a horrible state of disrepair,” he said, “there is no other way this weapon could have exploded.”
As detectives work to trace the source of the live bullet, the focus has been on Seth Kenney, who provided blanks and dummy bullets for production.
According to court documents filed Tuesday, detectives are trying to determine if Mr. Kenney sent live ammunition as well as blanks and dummies, and they searched his business in Albuquerque, PDQ Arm & Prop.
Mr Kenney said in an interview that he was convinced he was not the source of any live rounds.
“It’s not possible that they are from the PDQ or from me personally,” he told “Good Morning America.”
Thell Reed, a weapons expert who has worked and consulted on a number of films, told detectives he provided live bullets for Mr Kenney to practice on another film, according to reports. court documents. Mr. Reed, who is the father of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the gunsmith of “Rust”, suggested that they might match the live cartridges found on “Rust”.
The film’s prop master, Sarah Zachry, told investigators, according to court documents, the ammunition on the set came from “various sources” – from Mr. Kenney, but also from Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, who is believed to have had it. brought from a previous production and from a person identified only as “Billy Ray”.
Since the fatal shooting, two crew members who were in the room when the gunshot went off have filed separate lawsuits, naming Mr. Baldwin, the film’s producers and other crew members, including Mr. Halls and Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, as Respondents.
Both lawsuits indicate that Mr. Baldwin should have checked the gun himself to see if it was safe to handle. In the interview, Mr Baldwin said that on the day of the shooting, one of the complainants touched his shoulder and said he was not responsible for what had happened.
Mr. Baldwin declined to say which claimant it was. Serge Svetnoy, one of the crew members who made the complaint, told ABC he said this to Mr Baldwin, but then changed his mind.
The actor insisted the tragedy occurred after he was handed the gun and told it was safe, and Ms Hutchins herself told him how the position. He and Ms Hutchins assumed the gun was safe to handle, he said.
“I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it,” Mr. Baldwin said. “I can’t imagine I would make a movie that had a gun again. “
Matt stevens contributed reports.