Anti-Trump actor Alec Baldwin could be back on the judicial chopping block for the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in 2021. That accidental shooting occurred when the prop gun he was holding while preparing for his scene went off and fired a bullet, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Involuntary manslaughter charges were brought against Baldwin in January of 2023, with film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed facing the same charges. However, the charges against Baldwin were dropped in April of 2023 when the local police turned over more evidence.
At the time the charges against Baldwin were dropped, prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason J. Lewis said, “New facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis. This decision does not absolve Mr. Baldwin of criminal culpability and charges may be refiled.” At the time charges were dropped, the prosecutors also said, “If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed.”
Well, the forensics report just came out and in it, the forensic investigators concluded that the prop gun used could only fire if the trigger was pulled, meaning that it couldn’t have malfunctioned in the way Baldwin said that it would. The prop gun had to be reconstructed for the forensics report, as the original was damaged during the FBI investigation into the shooting.
The report concluded, “This fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger. Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”
Variety, reporting on the investigation, noted that it would have been difficult to mix up a dummy round with a live round, saying, “The report also found that there were four different kinds of dummy rounds on set. Some rattled when they were shaken, indicating that they were not capable of being fired. Others had a hole in the side, while others lacked a primer. The report found that the live rounds could be distinguished from those types of dummies, either by rattling them or by noticing the lack of a hole.“
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