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'Someone Is Responsible ... But I Know It's Not Me,' Alec Baldwin Says About Fatal Shooting Of Halyna Hutchins
In his first interview since the deadly shooting on the set of the Western film "Rust," Alec Baldwin said he cocked an antique .45 Colt revolver during a rehearsal and it discharged after he took his finger off the hammer, but insisted he never pulled the trigger.
Alec Baldwin said he’s not responsible for shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” and was simply following her directions when the gun went off and killed her.
"Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property," Alec Baldwin told ABC News in his first interview about the tragedy. "Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."
Baldwin had been rehearsing with an antique colt .45 revolver on Oct. 21 when the gun discharged, striking Hutchins in the chest. The same bullet tore through her body and lodged into the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who survived the shooting.
Baldwin sat down with ABC News George Stephanopoulos in a special that aired Thursday night to revisit the tragedy and provide new details about the moments just before the gun went off.
According to Baldwin, the film’s first assistant director Dave Halls handed him the revolver during rehearsal and told him it was a “cold gun,” a term used in the industry to refer to a weapon without any live rounds.
Baldwin said with the gun in his hand, Hutchins—who served as the film’s director of photography—began to lead him through a scene in the movie as part of a marking rehearsal, giving him instructions like telling him to “hold the gun lower” or “go to your right.”
“She’s guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle,” he said. “I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit.”
Baldwin said he had to cock the gun for the scene, but insisted he never pulled the trigger.
“I cock the gun. I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?” he recalled. “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.”
When questioned again by Stephanopoulos about whether he had pulled the trigger, Baldwin was adamant that he hadn’t.
“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them,” he said.
In the confusion that followed, Baldwin said he initially believed Hutchins had fainted or had been hit with a piece of projectile from a malfunctioning gun and never realized she had been struck by what investigators have said was a live round until later that afternoon.
“No one could understand,” he said.
It wasn’t until he was at the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office answering questions about the shooting that he learned Hutchins was killed with a lead bullet that had been placed inside the gun at some point.
“At the very end of my interview with the sheriff's department … they said to me, ‘We regret to tell you that [Hutchins] didn't make it,’” Baldwin said. “They told me right then and there.”
Baldwin also addressed growing unrest on the “Rust” film set by crew who had complained about the long hours on the set, inadequate lodging and unsafe working environment before some crew members walked off the film.
He told Stephanopoulos he was never aware of any safety concerns by the crew, but had been prepared to return some of his salary to help the crew get better lodging.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armorer, has also come under scrutiny since the shooting, but Baldwin—who also served as a producer on the film—insisted he had nothing to do with hiring any of the crew members and had “assumed” she was up for the job.
Baldwin also shook off criticism lodged by some, including actor George Clooney, that he should have checked the gun himself before the rehearsal began.
“My protocol was to trust the person that had the job,” Baldwin said of relying on the crew. “And it worked up until this point.”
Gutierrez Reed told investigators that on the day of the fatal shooting she had loaded the gun with “dummy rounds” before a lunch break and kept the gun locked up over the break, according to a search warrant obtained by Oxygen.com.
However, prop master Sarah Zachery told authorities that after the shooting, she compared the round that came from the gun to others in a box of ammo and suspected the box must have contained a mix of dummy rounds and some live rounds.
It’s still not clear how those live rounds got onto the set or into the gun.
Investigators received a search warrant on Tuesday to seize ammunition and other potential evidence from the film’s ammo supplier, PDQ Arm & Prop as part of the ongoing investigation.
Baldwin said in the aftermath of the tragedy, he’s turned his focus to his family and doesn’t give a “sh—” about his career any longer and ends each day “emotionally” exhausted.
He also talked about meeting with Hutchins’ widower, Matthew, and her 9-year-old son to express his deepest condolences.
“I didn’t know what to say,” he told ABC News. “[Matthew] hugged [me] and he goes, like ‘I suppose you and I are going to go through this together,’ he said. And I thought, ‘Well, not as much as you are.”
After his interview aired, Baldwin took to Instagram to thank his wife for her support during the tragedy.
“No matter what happens to me. No matter what I suffer. If I win or lose, anything. Anything. No one can take away from me the joy and love you have given me @hilariabaldwin,” he wrote. “These are tough times. The world is choked with fumes of hate. But you have given me a reason to live.”