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Alec Baldwin could still face charges over fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

Alec Baldwin could still be charged over the 'Rust' shooting. Picture: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Alec Baldwin could still be charged over the 'Rust' shooting. Picture: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Published Aug 16, 2023


Alec Baldwin could still be charged over the 'Rust' shooting.

In October 2021, Baldwin, 65, was holding a prop Colt .45 revolver on the New Mexico set of 'Rust' when it discharged, wounding writer-director Joel Souza and killing cinematographer Helena Hutchins, 42.

Although involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin - who has always denied pulling the trigger - were dropped without prejudice in April, a new forensics report concluded that the trigger was pulled “sufficiently” enough to cause the accident.

According to the firearms report, obtained by PEOPLE and compiled by experts Lucien Haag and Mike Haag for the State of New Mexico in its case against armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed: "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.

"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."

The report added that the gun had not been modified and "was found to function properly and in accordance with the operational design of original Colt 1873 single-action revolvers".

It went on: "[Although] the full-cock step on the hammer had been severely damaged, the top of the trigger’s sear was broken off and the bolt (cylinder stop) was also broken, [there was no indication] of any modification to the gun."

Back in June, prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said in a court filing that Baldwin could still face charges.

They wrote: "The gun and broken sear have been sent to the state’s independent expert for further testing.

“The charges against Alec Baldwin were dismissed without prejudice because a possible malfunction of the gun significantly effects causation with regard to Baldwin, not with regard to Gutierrez.

“If it is determined that the gun did not malfunction, charges against Mr. Baldwin will proceed."