‘Rust’ shooting required trigger be pulled, FBI report concludes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has determined that the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” film set required a “pull of the trigger” to fire the weapon, according to a forensics report released Friday.

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Actor Alec Baldwin, one of the film’s producers and stars, was handling the gun while rehearsing a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico in October when the weapon discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

An attorney for the actor told CNN on Sunday that the FBI report has been “misconstrued.”

“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,” attorney Luke Nikas said in an email to the network.

“The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition,” Nikas said, adding that “the critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident.”

Meanwhile, the FBI report stated that the prop gun that fired the fatal shot could not have done so “without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” Variety reported.

Baldwin has maintained throughout the investigation that he believed he was holding a “cold” gun, meaning he believed it held no live ammunition.

“The trigger wasn’t pulled,” Baldwin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a December 2021 interview, adding, “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never.”

The forensics report contradicts Baldwin’s assertion, Variety reported, noting that “with the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun could detonate a primer — but not a bullet, simultaneously — ‘without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly.’”

The bureau released its findings after performing accidental discharge tests with a single-action .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta — the same model of revolver involved in the incident, according to Deadline.

Baldwin’s attorney told CNN on Sunday, however, that the report in no way strays from his client’s account.

“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 said.

According to the post-mortem investigation summary, Hutchins’ cause of death has been deemed a “gunshot wound of the chest,” with “accident” listed as the manner of death, CNN reported.

“Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set. Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident,” the report concluded.

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