Albuquerque, NM – Last year a cinematographer’s fatal film-set shooting by actor Alec Baldwin was an accident, according to a determination made by the New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office after the completion of an autopsy and review of law enforcement reports.
The medical investigator’s report was made public Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple FBI reports on revolvers and ammunition collected after the shooting.
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether any charges will be filed in the case, saying they will review the latest reports and were waiting for cell phone data from Baldwin’s lawyers.
Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halina Hutchins when it went off on October 21, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. They were inside a small church during the setup to film a scene.
While it is too early to say how much weight the medical investigator’s report in the district attorney’s office will carry, Baldwin’s legal team suggested it was further evidence that the shooting was “a tragic accident” and that he should not face criminal charges. .
“This is the third time New Mexico officials have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of allegedly unsafe conditions on set, that he was told by the person in charge of security on set that the gun was ‘cold, ’ and assumed the gun was safe,” attorney Luke Exit said in a statement.
Baldwin said in an interview with ABC News in December that he was pointing a gun at Hutchins’ instructions on the set of the Western film “Rust” when he went off picking it up. He said he didn’t pull the trigger.
FBI analysis of the revolver Baldwin had in hand during rehearsal suggested that it was in working condition at the time and that it could not be used until it was completely turned off and the trigger was pulled. will not be discharged.
With the hammer in the full cock position, the FBI report stated that the gun could not be fired without the trigger being pulled, while the working internal components were intact and functional.
During testing of the gun by the FBI, officials said, parts of the trigger head and cylinder of the gun were fractured while the hammer was struck. This allowed the hammer to fall and the firing pin to detonate the primer.
“This was the only successful discharge during this trial and was attributed to a fracture of the internal components and not to a failure of the firearm or safety mechanism,” the report said.
It was not clear from the FBI report how many times the revolver would have been hammered during the trial.
Baldwin, who was also the producer of the film “Rust”, previously stated that the gun should not have been loaded for rehearsals.
Among the ammunition seized from the location of the film were live rounds found on a vehicle and in holsters in the building where the shooting took place. Empty and fake cartridges were also found.
New Mexico’s Bureau of Occupational Health and Safety detailed a story of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocol in a scathing report released in April, including testimony that production managers addressed two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting. Limited to do or take no action.
The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members, which went unheard, and said that weapons experts were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.
In arriving at its conclusion that the shooting was an accident, the New Mexico Medical Investigator’s Office pointed to the “absence of clear intent to cause harm or death” and stated that there was “no compelling demonstration” that the revolver was intentionally live. The stage was full of ammunition.
Associated Press writer Walter Berry in Phoenix contributed to this report.