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Alec Baldwin claims he didn’t pull trigger on ‘Rust’ set

"I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never"

By Hollie Geraghty

Alec Baldwin in a tuxedo at a red carpet event
Baldwin was set to play the lead in the low-budget western 'Rust', as well as produce. (Photo: Nadja Sayej/ Alamy).

Alec Baldwin claimed that he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the gun that fatally wounded cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film ‘Rust’.

The actor has spoken in-depth on camera about the incident for the first time in an interview with ABC News, which is due to air in the US today (December 2).

In a promo for the interview, George Stephanopoulos asked the actor to confirm that it wasn’t scripted for a trigger to be pulled. “Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin replied.

“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never,” he said.

Baldwin added that he had “no idea” how live bullets got in the gun, which should have been loaded with blanks or dummy rounds.

“I’ve done thousands of interviews in the last twenty years at ABC,’ said Stephanopoulos during an appearance on Good Morning America yesterday (December 1). “This was the most intense I’ve ever experienced. So raw. As you can imagine he’s devastated, but he was also very candid, he was very forthcoming.”

The actor was handed the gun by assistant director Dave Halls, who allegedly said “cold gun” as he passed it over. The weapons on set, including the gun given to Hall, were handled by on-set armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reid. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

During the interview Stephanopoulos also asked if the apparently accidental shooting is the worst thing that’s also happened to him. “Yep … yeah, because I think back and I think of ‘What could I have done?’” Baldwin replied.

Stephanopoulos said the actor “answered every question” and discussed meeting Hutchins’ family, as well as his account of the day.

“[He] went through in detail what happened on the set that day, and I have to tell you, I was surprised in many places over the course of that hour and twenty minutes we sat down yesterday,” Stephanopoulos said.

In an unplanned interview with paparazzi in October, as reported by TMZ, Baldwin said that the film is unlikely to resume production.

He also called Hutchins his “friend”, saying that he took her and director Joel Souza, who was also injured in the incident, to dinner upon arrival in New Mexico, adding that the crew was “well-oiled”.

Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, with whom she had a son, is “overwhelmed with grief,” Baldwin added.