Alec Baldwin has long maintained that he didn’t pull the trigger of the gun that went off, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. But on Monday the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office released a bunch of video connected to the case including some filmed rehearsals of the scene that ultimately resulted in the shooting.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has released evidence related to the deadly shooting on “Rust” movie set in New Mexico last year. Included is this clip of the scene where the film’s cinematographer was killed by a gun in Alec Baldwin’s hands pic.twitter.com/enNq4sJLo7
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) April 25, 2022
Over at his excellent new site The Reload, Stephen Gutowski explains what he sees happening in the clip.
It shows Baldwin clearly had his finger on the revolver’s trigger as he practiced the draw. In the last take of the video, he can be seen pulling the hammer back and releasing it while he has his finger on the trigger. The hammer clearly falls forward after being released…
Baldwin has claimed he “didn’t pull the trigger.” However, his description of the shooting makes that hard to believe.
“I cock the gun. I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?’” Baldwin told ABC. “And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.”
Watching the rehearsal clip more closely, it definitely shows Baldwin’s finger on the trigger and right after pulling the gun out of his coat he has the hammer pulled back with his thumb and then lets it snap forward. Gutowski demonstrated how this would work in an appearance on Fox News.
Here's a quick overview of what the new videos tell us about the Alec Baldwin shooting. pic.twitter.com/Oc9Xj3IlR4
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) April 27, 2022
Gutowski points out that even though this video appears to be at odds with Baldwin’s claims he didn’t “pull” the trigger that doesn’t mean the error was entirely Baldwin’s fault. The fact that there was live ammunition on the set and that no one checked the gun carefully before handing it to Baldwin also contributed to the shooting.
That’s just a tiny fraction of the video released by the Sheriff’s Office. Other video included people trying to care for Hutchins after the gun went off, and police encounters with Baldwin at the scene and later at the police station where he was read his rights. There’s also video of the 24-year-old armorer who checked the gun and complaints from other people on set that she was not doing a good job. This Entertainment Tonight segment collects some of the clips.
Finally, the remaining question is who, if anyone, is going to be charged in Hutchins death. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza was on the Today show yesterday and said, “I don’t think anybody is off the hook when it comes to criminal charges.” He also said it was “hard to determine” whether the negligence on the set rose to the level of criminal behavior.