Actor Alec Baldwin said during an ABC News interview on Thursday night that he does not feel guilt over the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, claiming that someone else is responsible for what happened.
“Do you feel guilt?” ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin during an exclusive interview.
“No. No,” Baldwin said. “I feel that there is, I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
“I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly,” he added.
.@GStephanopoulos: "Do you feel guilt?"
Alec Baldwin: “No. Someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 3, 2021
ABC News reports:
On Oct. 21, Baldwin was holding an antique revolver during a dress rehearsal for the Western at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, when it discharged, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding its director, Joel Souza.
Halyna Hutchins “was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with and liked by everyone who worked with and admired,” Baldwin said. “And even now, I find it hard to believe that, it just doesn’t seem, it doesn’t seem real to me.”
When pressed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about how “it wasn’t in the script for the trigger to be pulled,” Baldwin responded by claiming, “Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.”
“I cock the gun. I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?’” Baldwin said. “And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.”
“So you never pulled the trigger?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“No, no, no, no,” Baldwin claimed. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
EXCLUSIVE: "The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger," Alec Baldwin tells @GStephanopoulos in first interview since fatal shooting on set of "Rust."
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
The Reload, a Second Amendment publication, analyzed Baldwin’s claims:
At first glance, this sounds far-fetched. It is exceedingly rare for a gun to fire without the trigger being depressed. Modern firearms, even replicas of antique guns, have safeties specifically designed to prevent them from firing without the trigger being pulled. It only really happens when the gun’s firing mechanism is damaged, or there is a significant design flaw. That’s why most gun owners and firearms safety trainers are highly skeptical of any claim a gun just “went off” absent user error.
In Baldwin’s case, though, the claim is at least somewhat more believable. That’s because the gun involved is more prone to firing without the trigger being pulled. And, even though it’s a modern replica of an antique design, it’s possible it did not include modern safety devices.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza identified the gun used in the shooting as a modern Pietta replica of a single-action army revolver. Those guns can be bought either with a transfer bar that makes it impossible for the firing pin to strike the primer unless the trigger is pulled or without one. Often, enthusiasts and collectors prefer the models without modern safety devices because it’s more authentic and perfectly safe when handled properly.
A single-action revolver usually requires the hammer to be manually cocked, and the trigger be pulled for a shot to be fired. That’s why it’s referred to as a single-action: because the trigger performs just one action. It drops the hammer. In a double-action revolver, on the other hand, the trigger can both cock and release the hammer.
However, a single-action revolver with the old-style firing mechanism can fire without either the hammer being cocked or the trigger being pulled. When the hammer is down on that kind of revolver, the firing pin protrudes and, if a live round is loaded in the chamber underneath, a sharp enough jolt can cause the pin to strike the round’s primer with enough force to set it off.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.