Alec Baldwin Describes What Happened In Fatal Moment On ‘Rust’ Set: “I Let Go Of The Hammer Of The Gun, And The Gun Goes Off”
Alec Baldwin told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that the gun he handled on the set of the movie “Rust” discharged after he cocked it, but that he did not pull the trigger.
Baldwin sat down with Stephanopoulos for an ABC News one-hour special, Alec Baldwin Unscripted, his first extensive interview since the Oct. 21 fatal incident on the set of Rust at a location near Santa Fe, NM. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured when the gun that Baldwin was using during a dress rehearsal discharged.
Describing what happened during a rehearsal on the set on Oct. 21, Baldwin said that he told Hutchins that “now, in this scene, I am going to cock the gun. I said, ‘Do you want to see that?’ And she said yes. So I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger. I said, ‘Did you see that?’ [She said] Well just cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit like that. And I cocked the gun and go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? And I let go of the hammer o the gun and the gun goes off.”
Baldwin said that he has no idea how live ammunition got in the gun or even on the set.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” he said. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
ABC News released a trailer of the special on Wednesday in which Baldwin said that he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the gun, a clip that was certainly tantalizing to draw in viewers, but a bit of an odd tease for a tragic incident with an investigation ongoing. On Thursday, an attorney for “Rust” assistant director David Halls said that her client backed up Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull the trigger.
“I didn’t pull the trigger. No, no, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger. Never. That was the training I had. You don’t point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger. On day one of the instruction I had in this business, never take a gun and go click, click, click. click. that was the training that I had. You don’t want to go and pull trigger. On day one of my instruction in this business people said to me, never take the gun and go click click click click click. Because even though it’s incremental, you damage the firing pin on the gun if you do that. Don’t do that.”
Baldwin said that he was “handed a gun and someone declares, ‘This is a cold gun.’” Stephanopoulos asked if that was Dave Halls, the first assistant director, and Baldwin responded, “The first AD.”
“In my years on the sets of films ‘hot’ meant that there was a charge and ‘cold’ gun meant that there was nothing in there.”
When he’s saying, ‘This is a cold gun, what he’s saying to everybody on the set is, ‘You can relax because it’s empty.’ … A cold gun means there is no charge in there. There could be dummy rounds.”
Baldwin said that he decided to sit down for the interview in part to counter some of the statements that have been by others about what happened on the set.
More to come.
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