Alec Baldwin Investigation Reveals Crucial Answer In Rust Shooting

This changes everything.

By Michileen Martin | Published

alec baldwin

Ever since news came from the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of Rust last October that Halyna Hutchins had been shot and killed on the set of the Western — not to mention director Joel Souza being injured — the question of fault has lingered. Early reports blamed the production’s armorer, conspiracy theories about disgruntled crew members were broadcast, and those who already disliked lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin used the tragedy as an opportunity to attack him. Over the weekend, one critical finding was released by the investigation, and it isn’t something Baldwin or his lawyers will want to hear — according to the FBI, the gun Baldwin was holding at the time of Hutchins’s death could not have fired without the trigger being pulled.

When he was interviewed on ABC by George Stephanopoulos in December, Alec Baldwin said, “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.” The FBI says differently. As reported by Deadline, the FBI released their forensic report on the Rust shooting and it contradicts Baldwin’s claims. The forensic report says the FBI conducted accidental discharge testing, during which the .45 Colt — the gun Baldwin was holding when it fired, killing Hutchins and wounding Souza — could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger. It said the gun would not fire without a trigger pull either with “the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions,” nor “when the hammer was struck directly.”

It has yet to be determined whether Alec Baldwin, or anyone else from the Rust production, could face criminal charges. Deadline says that decision will ultimately fall on the shoulders of the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office; a decision that will have to wait until the office receives the case file from the Santa Fe County Sheriffs. That process is apparently being held up by the slower process of obtaining the actor’s phone records. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told Deadline that once they receive the records and conduct a thorough review of them, the case file will be sent to the District Attorney.

While Alec Baldwin is waiting to learn whether or not he’ll face criminal charges, the Oscar-nominated actor already knows he’s facing a whole host of lawsuits over the Rust shooting. Not only was a lawsuit filed against Baldwin in February by Hutchins’s family; but he’s likewise facing civil suits from crew members like Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and gaffer Sergey Svetnoy. In the meantime, other lawsuits have been filed not targeting Baldwin; such as a suit against Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm & Prop brought by armorer Hannah Gutierrez, who claimed a box of live ammunition brought to the set was mismarked. It’s no doubt the FBI’s findings from over the weekend will prove crucial in all those suits and more.

Though Alec Baldwin is reported to still have screen projects in various stages of production, the Rust shooting has largely relegated him to a Hollywood no-man’s land. It also made him one of the few people in the world willing to publicly interview disgraced director Woody Allen in June.