Alec Baldwin 'Rust' set shooting ruled an accident by medical investigator as actor's lawyer hits back at FBI

Posted 39 days ago


Alec Baldwin's "Rust" set shooting was ruled an accident by New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator after the completion of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' autopsy and review of law enforcement reports from the fatal incident in October.

The medical investigator's report was made public Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in addition to FBI records collected from the weapon and ammunition used on the set following the shooting. It's unclear if Baldwin will still face any criminal charges, with his lawyers calling the shooting a "tragic accident."

"The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident. 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," Baldwin attorney Luke Nikas told Fox News Digital.

A live round of ammunition killed cinematographer Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza during rehearsal on Oct. 21, 2021. Filming for the Western "Rust" took place at a ranch on the outskirts of the city of Santa Fe, where they had been filming inside a small church.

"The FBI report is being misconstrued," Nikas added. "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."

A representative for "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed told Fox News Digital: "The newly released FBI reports show the revolver was in good working order and that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger to fire the revolver, directly contradicting his prior statements and those of Assistant Director Halls, through his attorney, who also said Baldwin didn’t pull the trigger."

"The New Mexico Environmental Department’s (OSHA) new complaint highlights serious failures by Production on the Rust set which would have prevented this tragic shooting."

Baldwin had told investigators that as the gun went off, he was unaware initially that Hutchins would die and was shocked to learn that he had been holding a gun loaded with live ammunition. Baldwin, who also was a producer on the film, had said the gun should have been empty for a rehearsal with no filming.

"These new filings demonstrate various production members’ attempts from the very beginning to shirk responsibility and scapegoat Hannah, a 24-year-old armorer, for this tragedy," the statement continued. "Hannah was tasked with doing two jobs including props assistant and the very important job as armorer but not given adequate time and training days to do so despite repeated requests or the respect required of the armorer’s position and responsibilities.

"This included Baldwin in particular who 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. It also bears repeating that Hannah specifically asked to be called back into the Church if Baldwin was going to handle or operate a firearm so she could perform her armorer inspection and safety duties. Yet, neither Baldwin nor Halls nor anyone else in production called Hannah into the Church to perform her armorer duties and complete a final safety check before the fatal shooting, which also would have prevented this terrible tragedy."... (Read more)