Actor Alec Baldwin might be charged anew in connection with the shooting on the “Rust” movie set, according to a second investigation of the gun used.
On the New Mexico set in October 2021, a gunshot killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and critically injured director Joel Souza. Baldwin has insisted time and time again that he did not fire the gun.
His involuntary manslaughter charges were dropped in April when prosecutors claimed that the gun may have been altered before to the incident and malfunctioned. Authorities ordered a further examination of the weapon.
The rifle was not modified, according to a fresh firearms analysis report written by Santa Fe County special prosecutors Jason J. Lewis and Kari T. Morrissey on August 2.
The Colt.45 prop revolver, the cartridges, and the filming footage were examined in the report by forensic science consultant Michael G. Haag of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and firearms specialist Lucien C. Haag of Carefree, Arizona.
The specialists claimed that the rifle discharged as intended after replacing damaged parts that were discovered during FBI analysis.
“Although Alec Baldwin repeatedly denies pulling the trigger, given the tests, findings and observations reported here, the trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver,” Lucien Haag wrote.
“From an examination of the fired cartridge case and the operationally restored evidence revolver, this fatal incident was the consequence of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger,” Haag wrote.
Frames from set videos that the experts were given that showed Baldwin dressed in Western attire inside a makeshift church were included in the report. He could be seen in one clip “cocking the silver-colored hammer of a long barreled revolver with his right index finger ending up on or near the trigger,” according to Haag.
Baldwin’s right index finger was visible in two additional frames, “inside the trigger guard and either on, or near, the trigger,” according to Haag.
A motion on behalf of “Rust” armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is still accused of involuntary manslaughter in the case, contained the report. The motion brought up the report’s conclusions and asked for jury instructions on causality.
Alec Baldwin’s representatives declined to comment on the report’s conclusions about firearms.