As we reported yesterday, Alec Baldwin claimed he did not pull the trigger in the shooting on the set of “Rust,” which resulted in the killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza.
Baldwin did an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that's supposed to broadcast in full Thursday night. But in a clip that was released yesterday, he said, “The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.” He then continued, “No, no, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger. Never.”
But yet, he obviously did point the weapon at someone — or they would not have been shot.
Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza, who is heading up the investigation on the case, pooh-poohed Baldwin's claim about not pulling the trigger on the gun.
“Guns don't just go off,” Sheriff Adan Mendoza told Fox News Digital. “So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.”
The Sheriff's department said the FBI was looking into the actions necessary to how the gun could have fired — including whether it could have fired without pulling the trigger.
My colleague Dennis Santiago explained in his story earlier today how Baldwin could possibly have been holding or operating it where the trigger was already pressed, so that he didn't have to consciously “pull the trigger” to fire the gun in his hand.
Now, I don't necessarily believe anything Baldwin has to say at this point, because he knows he's in big trouble here. But even if he thought he was telling the truth, it wouldn't help him much, since whatever action he did caused it to fire, and it was in his hands pointed at Hutchins and Souza. He violated that basic principle — never point a gun at anyone.
The script supervisor said Baldwin intentionally fired the gun, when it wasn't even in the script.
The armorer Hannah Reed suggested that the hammer had been cocked back. “We had the gun the whole time before that and nothing happened, and I wasn't in there, and they weren't even supposed to be pulling the hammer back,” she said.
There were also all the alleged safety questions, which Baldwin — as a producer — should have been aware of, and for which he ultimately could be held responsible including the prior accidental discharges involving Baldwin's body double. There was no investigation into those accidental discharges, according to the report, and that could be a problem for Baldwin. There were also the claims that people on the set were firing live ammo during breaks with the guns, including on the morning of the shooting.
Baldwin's statements don't help him, and he's locking himself legally into those statements — when he's going to face multiple suits and possibly criminal charges.