What forensic testing reveals about revolvers in on-set ‘Rust’ shooting

The gun used in the fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” could not be fired without pulling the trigger, according to an FBI forensic report obtained Friday by ABC News.

Actor Alec Baldwin shot cinematographer Helena Hutchins last year on the set of the Western he was producing and starring in. The actor believed he was handling a “cold gun”—one without live ammunition—when he went off and a live bullet hit Hutchins, killing him. The film’s director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.

The FBI report shows that accidental discharge testing determined that the firearm used in the shooting – a .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F. Lee Pieta single-action revolver – could not be fired without pulling the trigger .

The report noted that with the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the gun “could not be fired without pulling the trigger.”

The report stated that with the hammer fully hanging, the gun “could not be fired without pulling the trigger, while the working internal components were intact and functional.”

Photo: Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, NM on October 23, 2021.

Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, NM on October 23, 2021.

JE C. HONG/AP, FILE

The report stated that by being hammer de-cocked on the loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer “without pulling the trigger when struck directly with the hammer”, which is typical for revolvers of this type. Is.

in one Interview In December with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin said he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun.

“The trigger was not pulled,” he said. “I didn’t pull the trigger.”

ABC News contacted representatives for Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of all weapons on the “Rust” set, but did not yet receive a response.

Photo: Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala on May 21, 2019 in New York.

Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala on May 21, 2019 in New York.

Ivan Agostini / InVision / AP, FILE

The forensic report is part of the criminal investigation into the on-set shooting. The sheriff’s office said Thursday that the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the murder investigation, received reports and other FBI documents related to the shooting earlier this month.

The documents have been reviewed by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, which classified Hutchins’ death as an accident, a postmortem report obtained by ABC News shows.

The report said, “Death was caused by a bullet injury to the chest. A review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling evidence that the firearm was intentionally loaded with ammunition on set.” “Based on all available information, including the absence of a clear intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as an accident.”

The local district attorney has yet to make a decision on what to charge in the case. The sheriff’s office said Thursday that detectives are awaiting Baldwin’s phone records as part of their investigation.

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