The attorney for actor Alec Baldwin refuted the findings of the FBI report related to the October shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins based on the findings from the medical examiner that were made public.
On Monday, the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office released the report conducted following the incident on the set of the film “Rust” in New Mexico. In Oct., Baldwin had been rehearsing a scene with a gun that was not supposed to have had live ammunition in it when it was fired, fatally wounding Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, told Fox News Digital following the release of the findings, “The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident,” based on “the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death” and “no compelling demonstration” that the gun was intentionally loaded with live ammunition.
“This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alex Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was ‘cold,’ and believed the gun was safe,” he contended.
However, the FBI report made public Friday determined that the trigger of the gun had to have been pulled for the weapon to discharge. “With the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the gun ‘could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,’ the report stated,” according to ABC News. “With the hammer fully cocked, the gun ‘could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while working internal components were intact and functional.”
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“With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer ‘without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,’ which is normal for this type of revolver,” the findings continued.
Nikas suggested that the gun was not “intact and functional” at the time of the incident and argued, “The FBI report is being misconstrued. The gun fired in testing only one time–without having to pull the trigger–when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places. The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”
A representative for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed released a statement as well in support of the FBI and in defense of Reed who was responsible for weapon safety on the set.
“The newly released FBI reports show the revolver was in good working order and that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger to fire the revolver,” Fox News reported, “directly contradicting his prior statements and those of Assistant Director Halls through his attorney, who also said Baldwin didn’t pull the trigger.”
The actor had repeatedly said that he had not pulled the trigger even though he had cocked the weapon and added in March, “I’m very hopeful when the facts come out we will not be held criminally responsible, but it has changed my life. And I don’t mean this in the ordinary sense that I was involved in something or somebody passed. I mean, I was involved in a situation with somebody was killed. It’s changed my life just in terms of the function of weapons in films and televisions.”
The statement from Reed’s representative continued, “The New Mexico Environmental Department’s (OSHA) new complaint highlights serious failures by Production on the Rust set which would have prevented this tragic shooting. The new filing demonstrate various production members’ attempts from the very beginning to shirk responsibility and scapegoat Hannah, a 24-year-old armorer, for this tragedy. Hannah was tasked with doing two jobs including props assistant and the very important job as armorer but not given adequate time and training days to do so despite repeated requests or the respect required of the armorer’s position and responsibilities.”
“This included Baldwin in particular who ignored Hannah’s requests to do specific cross draw training which would include never having his finger on the trigger during the cross draw and never pointing the weapon at anyone,” the statement explained. “It also bears repeating that Hannah specifically asked to be called back into the Church if Baldwin was going to handle or operate a firearm so she could perform her armorer inspection and safety duties. Yet, neither Baldwin nor Halls nor anyone else in production called Hannah into the Church to perform her armorer duties and complete a final safety check before the fatal shooting, which also would have prevented this terrible tragedy.”
No criminal charges have been filed yet following the death of Hutchins.
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