Alec Baldwin not off hook in Rust case as investigators insist ‘trigger had to be pulled’

Alec Baldwin has always maintained that he did not pull the trigger (Picture: Getty Images)

Alec Baldwin could still face charges in the fatal Rust shooting after a new firearms report has cast doubt on his version of events. 

The 30 Rock actor was charged with involuntary manslaughter after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead on the set of his western movie Rust in October 2021. Baldwin was holding the gun that accidentally discharged but has repeatedly insisted that he did not pull the trigger. 

Rust director Joel Souza was also shot and injured but made a full recovery. Hutchins, a married mother of one, was pronounced dead soon after arriving at the hospital. 

All charges against Baldwin, 65, were dropped in April but a damning new report could see charges refiled. 

Court documents published on Tuesday cited a gun report by weapons experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag. Prosecutors had previously claimed to have had information that the gun Baldwin used had been modified. 

However, attorneys for Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed who was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, said the report ‘does not indicate any modification to the gun’. It also reportedly ‘specifies that the trigger had to be pulled.’ 

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was aged 42 when she was shot and killed on the set of Rust (Picture: Rex Features)

It’s possible Baldwin could still face charges (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

According to an excerpt of the report: ‘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.

‘If the hammer had not been fully retracted to the rear, and were to slip from the handler’s thumb without the trigger depressed, the half cock or quarter cock notches in the hammer should have prevented the firing pin from reaching any cartridge in the firing chamber.

‘If these features were somehow bypassed, a conspicuously off-centre firing pin impression would result.’ 

Baldwin had been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter but both were dropped without prejudice in April. The Hollywood actor always maintained that he wasn’t aware there were live rounds in the weapon.

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was also charged with involuntary manslaughter (Picture: Rex Features)

Lawyers for the actor told in a statement at the time: ‘We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident.’

Prosecutors stated that there was always a possibility that charges could be refiled. 

Shortly after, it was revealed that Baldwin had reached a settlement with Hutchins’ family, including husband Matthew after they filed a wrongful death lawsuit. has reached out to Baldwin’s reps for comment.

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