The gun fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust — killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza — could not have gone off without Baldwin pulling the trigger, according to an FBI forensic report obtained by ABC News.
In the incident, which occurred last October in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Baldwin believed he was handling a “cold gun,” or one without live ammunition, when it went off and struck Hutchins in the stomach. Baldwin insisted that he never pulled the trigger, but the FBI’s forensic research says otherwise. Using accidental discharge testing, investigators determined that the .45 Colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger.”
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator has classified Hutchins’ death as an accident. “Death was caused by a gunshot wound of the chest. Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set,” a postmortem report obtained by ABC News says. “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.”
Even so, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is leading a criminal investigation into the shooting and has not ruled out filing charges against the involved parties — including Baldwin. The family of Hutchins has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and several producers and crew members of Rust, including the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and its assistant director, Dave Halls. Both Gutierrez Reed and Halls have a history of creating unsafe work environments — so much so that several Rust crew members staged a walkout just hours before the shooting took place.