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Tipsheet

Baldwin Claims He Didn't Pull the Trigger in Fatal 'Rust' Shooting. That's Not What a New FBI Report Found.

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Ten months after the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” the FBI has concluded that the gun’s trigger must have been pulled.

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Actor Alec Baldwin has maintained that he did not pull the weapon’s trigger and that he believed the gun he was using while rehearsing a scene did not contain live ammunition. 

Accidental discharge testing determined that the firearm used in the shooting -- a .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver -- could not have fired without the trigger being pulled, the FBI report shows.

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.

With the hammer fully cocked, the gun "could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional," the report stated.

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 report stated. (ABC News)

As our colleagues at HotAir pointed out, however, "The report obtained by ABC News doesn’t say if they were testing the actual revolver used in the shooting or another one of the same model. So if the firearm from the set of Rust was faulty, it’s still possible that Baldwin’s account could be correct."

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Baldwin repeatedly told ABC News in December he didn't pull the trigger. 

"I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never," he told George Stephanopoulos. "Never. Never. That was the training that I had. You never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger.”


An attorney for Baldwin said the FBI report is "being misconstrued."

"The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident," said lawyer Luke Nikas. "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."

Nikas continued: "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."

According to journalist Emily Miller, the day of the shooting Baldwin is seen with his finger on the trigger. 

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You see he did a cross-draw maneuver, which means he used his right hand to pull out the gun from a holster on the left side.

The armorer’s lawyer said Baldwin “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.” (Emily Miller)

One theory is that inexperienced gun users do not realize they have their finger on the trigger. Another is that Baldwin made the claim "to set up his civil defense against the lawsuits from the victims," Miller states.

Baldwin faces a lawsuit from Hutchins' family for wrongful death. 

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