Firearms Report Refutes Alec Baldwin's Claim He Didn't Pull the Trigger in 'Rust' Shooting

The new report states that "improper handling" could have resulted in the gun discharging.

Alec Baldwin has maintained that he didn't pull the trigger in the on-set Rust shooting that tragically claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. However, a new firearms report, which was prepared by a forensic firearms examiner in Arizona, refutes his claim. According to ET, attorneys for the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed the report as part of a new motion.

"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," the firearms report states. Gutierrez-Reed is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. Baldwin was previously facing charges but those were dropped earlier this year. Prosecutors stated at the time that if it was determined the gun was in proper working order then they could refile charges against Baldwin. It was previously believed the gun had been modified, and then it was later damaged during the FBI's investigation.

"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," the report adds. It goes on to say, "If these features were somehow bypassed, a conspicuously off-center firing pin impression would result." The firearms report claims, "From an examination of the fired cartridge case and the operationally restored 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 only conceivable alternative," the report adds, "would be a situation in which the trigger was already pulled or held rearward while retracting the hammer to its full cock position." The report then states, "Although unlikely and totally contrary to the normal operation of these single action revolvers, such improper handling, would result in the discharge of a live cartridge." Baldwin's attorneys have reportedly not responded to requests for comment on the report.

In October 2021, Hutchins was killed after a prop gun that Baldwin was holding discharged. The gun was initially not believed to be loaded with live rounds. Director Joel Souza was non-fatally injured during the incident. On Jan. 19, 2023, it was announced that both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Notably, while charges against Baldwin have been dropped, the investigation will remain open due to Gutierrez-Reed still facing charges.