On Thursday, more than a month after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of the low-budget indie Western Rust in New Mexico due to a live round of ammunition being accidentally loaded into a prop gun, Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun, gave his first public interview about the tragedy to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
It was an emotional conversation, as Baldwin recalled the details of the moment leading up to the shooting, but the Oscar-nominated actor was adamant about one thing: “Someone is responsible for what happened,” he said. “And I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.” As noted by The Wrap, at least one veteran gun expert isn’t buying it.
According to Baldwin, he and Hutchins were working together on blocking a scene. “I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit,” Baldwin explained.
But Baldwin swears he never pulled the trigger. He says that he “let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.” Even when he saw Hutchins hit the ground, he wasn’t sure what had happened. His first thought was that she had fainted. It apparently took about 45 minutes for it to occur to the actor that Hutchins’ condition might be related to the firearm.
But Steve Wolf, an armorer with more than 30 years in the business, isn’t buying it. When The Wrap asked him to comment on the likelihood that the Rust accident went down the way that Baldwin explained it, Wolf’s reply was matter-of-fact: “One a scale of one to 10? Zero.”
“You know, guns don’t go up by themselves, right?,” Wolf continued. “It’s an inanimate object. It has no batteries. It has no timer. It has no web connection. It’s not a smart piece of equipment. It’s a very reliable device that shoots when you press the trigger, and it doesn’t shoot when you don’t press the trigger.”
Though Baldwin stated that he “would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger,” Wolf says that the gun in question, an F.LL1 Pietta Long Colt 45 Revolver, has an ultra-sensitive trigger and can be easily discharged.
“I believe that he believes what he’s saying, because I don’t believe that he intended to press the trigger,” Wolf told The Wrap. “But I also don’t believe that the trigger pressed itself. A single-action Colt 45 like that has a very, very light trigger. You know, if you have your finger on the trigger, you can almost think to yourself, ‘shoot’—and then the gun goes off. But it’s not because you were thinking ‘shoot,’ it’s because you had some muscle tension. And when that increases, it’s sufficient to fire the gun.”
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department is echoing Wolf’s comments. “Guns don’t just go off,” Sheriff Adan Mendoza told Fox News. “So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.” The Sheriff’s Department is currently awaiting a report from the FBI that should shed additional light on what exactly happened.
(Via The Wrap)