In a recent development surrounding the tragic “Rust” shooting incident, actor Alec Baldwin may be facing potential charges. Forensic experts have reportedly produced evidence that could lead to criminal charges against the renowned actor.
A new forensic report, as cited by People, has concluded that the trigger of the prop Colt .45 revolver, which contained live rounds, had been pulled “sufficiently” enough to cause the gun to fire. This unfortunate event led to the death of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.
“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,” according to the firearms report, which was commissioned by the State of New Mexico.
“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 Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office initially charged Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter, but these charges were later dismissed. However, subsequent court filings hinted at potential recharging based on an ongoing gun investigation.
A new report in Gutierrez-Reed’s case featured images of Baldwin with the weapon before the incident. The reassembled gun functioned as per its original design. Although parts of the gun were damaged from the incident, there was no modification evidence.
“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,” they wrote at the time, adding that they expected to make a final charging decision for Baldwin within the next 60 days of that filing.
In the case against Gutierrez-Reed, the prosecution’s new report includes photos of Baldwin in costume while rehearsing prior to the incident, holding the weapon. In reassembling the gun itself, the report said, it “was found to function properly and in accordance with the operational design of original Colt 1873 single-action revolvers.”
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” due to the incident, there was no indication of “any modification to the gun,” the report reads.
In August 2022, the FBI stated that Baldwin likely pulled the trigger, a claim his lawyer contested. Baldwin has consistently denied pulling the trigger, emphasizing his disbelief in the incident. By April, charges against Baldwin were dropped.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer, was also charged with manslaughter. Assistant director David Halls accepted a plea for negligent weapon use. A January statement from the Santa Fe County District Attorney emphasized that the tragedy could have been prevented if all three individuals had upheld their responsibilities.
Recently, Gutierrez-Reed, 26, pled not guilty, and her trial is slated for December. “Rust” eventually continued production in Montana after a settlement with Hutchins’ family.