fbi:-‘rust’-gun-couldn’t-fire-unless-trigger-was-pulled

Aug. 14—The New Mexican

A forensic report on the gun used in the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set found it could not have been fired without pulling the trigger.

ABC News obtained a copy of the FBI forensic report Friday. Its findings would seem to contradict what actor Alec Baldwin told ABC’s George Stephanopolous — that he didn’t pull the gun’s trigger but was holding it when it went off.

“The trigger wasn’t pulled,” Baldwin said in that December interview. “I didn’t pull the trigger.”

Authorities say a revolver wielded by Hollywood star and Rust producer Baldwin discharged during a rehearsal in October, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

The FBI report, which as of Saturday evening had not been seen or independently verified by The New Mexican or any other media outlets, was sent to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 2. The sheriff’s office received a final report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator — which was waiting for the FBI report to finish its investigation — Wednesday. According to a copy obtained by ABC News, that report determines that Hutchins died from a gunshot wound to the chest and classifies it as an accident.

“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set,” the report said.

The sheriff’s office said earlier this week that it is waiting to obtain Baldwin’s phone records from police in New York before sending a final investigative file to the district attorney, who will make a charging decision.

According to accidental discharge testing, the revolver Baldwin was holding would only have fired if Baldwin had pulled the trigger, ABC News reported Friday. With the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the .45-caliber Colt “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,” the report stated. And when fully cocked, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” the report says.

First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis announced a week and a half ago that Andrea Reeb, the retired head of the Clovis-area District Attorney’s Office for eight years, will act as a special prosecutor in the investigation.

The state Environmental Department filed a formal administrative complaint against the film company behind Rust last week.

The department said in a news release it wants to hold the company “accountable for a workplace fatality and a serious injury in the workplace” and assess further civil penalties.

The department’s investigation found the company “demonstrated plain indifference to the hazards associated with firearms” on the set and failed to follow proper firearm safety practices. It said they took no corrective or disciplinary action after two previously reported firearms mishaps took place on the set before Baldwin’s shooting of Hutchins and Souza.

 

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