Ten months after Alec Baldwin shot and killed Halyna Hutchins while filming Rust in New Mexico, more details about the circumstances surrounding her death have emerged. In the past week, two new reports have provided additional insight into how the tragedy might have happened.
On Monday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office released the medical investigator’s report, officially declaring the shooting an accident.
“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set,” read the postmortem examination report, signed Aug. 9, and obtained by Rolling Stone. “Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as an accident.”
Despite the OMI’s findings, prosecutors have not yet decided whether to file charges in the case, per the Associated Press.
“This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec 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,” attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement to Rolling Stone.
The report findings also come several days after the FBI released an analysis of the firearm that killed Hutchins, stating that the gun was in working condition and it would not have discharged unless the trigger had been pulled. (The FBI finding counters what Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC News, where he claimed that he had not pulled the trigger.)
“With the hammer in the full cock position, [the gun] could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” read the FBI report obtained by Rolling Stone.
However, in an interview on the Chris Cuomo Project podcast released Tuesday, Baldwin stood by his statement that he didn’t pull the trigger. Instead, he said he “fanned the gun,” which he claimed is what caused the revolver to fire.
(It’s unclear if the interview was recorded before or after the FBI’s or medical investigator’s reports were made public.)
Reports about how the gun went off on the set of “Rust” are finally addressed – don’t miss today’s special episode with @AlecBaldwin
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) August 16, 2022
“The hammer didn’t lock,” Baldwin said. “You pulled it back to an extent where it would fire the bullet without you pulling the trigger… without you locking the hammer.”
Baldwin also iterated that he was told by the safety officer on set that it was a “cold gun.”
“Now why did he say that if he didn’t know? If he hadn’t checked?” he added. “The point is: all of us were told that everything was cool and you can relax and we’re working with a gun that’s safe to rehearse with.”
Acknowledging that people are waiting on a district attorney’s report, he added, “I know that every single person on the set of the film knows what happened.”
“The people that are talking loudest about what happened or speculating about what happened were not on the set of the film … they talk on and on and on about ‘what if’ this and ‘what if’ that,” Baldwin continued in his conversation with Cuomo.
Baldwin’s attorney Nikas also added to Rolling Stone that the FBI report was “being misconstrued,” as he referred to the fact that the gun was “in such poor condition” when it got to the agency for the analysis.
“The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition,” he said.
The findings from both the FBI and the Santa Fe OMI come about four months after the state’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau imposed the maximum possible fine on the production company behind the film for willfully failing to provide adequate safety precautions on set. The company faces a nearly $137,000 fine for the “willful-serious” citation by the government agency.
The attorney for Hutchins’ family declined to comment on the most recent findings.