Alec Baldwin's Lawyer Responds to FBI Forensic Report Concluding He May Have Pulled Trigger in 'Rust' Shooting

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The FBI concluded in a forensic report that the gun used to kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 on the set of Alec Baldwin's Rust film couldn't have been fired without someone first pulling the trigger.

In the forensic report, obtained by ET, the federal law agency said its accidental discharge testing determined the gun used in the shooting -- a .45 colt caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver -- couldn't have gone off without the trigger being pulled.

The report stated that, even with the hammer in the quarter-and half-cock positions, the gun "could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger." And, with the hammer fully cocked, the gun "could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional." Furthermore, with the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer "without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly," which the report stated as normal for this type of revolver.

On Monday, Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas, addressed the forensic report's findings in a statement to ET. 

"The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident. This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was 'cold,' and believed the gun was safe," Nikas said. "The FBI report is being misconstrued. The gun fired in testing only one time --without having to pull the trigger -- when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places. The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition."

Additionally, Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed's attorney released a lengthy statement to ET.

"The newly released FBI reports show the revolver was in good working order and that Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger to fire the revolver, directly contradicting his prior statements and those of Assistant Director Halls, through his attorney, who also said Baldwin didn’t pull the trigger. The New Mexico Environmental Department’s (OSHA) new complaint highlights serious failures by production on the Rust set which would have prevented this tragic shooting," reads the statement in part. "These new filings demonstrate various production members’ attempts from the very beginning to shirk responsibility and scapegoat Hannah, a 24-year-old armorer, for this tragedy. Hannah was tasked with doing two jobs including props assistant and the very important job as armorer but not given adequate time and training days to do so despite repeated requests or the respect required of the armorer’s position and responsibilities. This included Baldwin in particular who ignored Hannah’s requests to do specific cross draw training which would include never having his finger on the trigger during the cross draw and never pointing the weapon at anyone."

The FBI forensic report seemingly contradicts what Baldwin told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos back in December 2021 during his first sit-down interview since the fatal onset shooting that also wounded the film's director, Joel Souza.

Baldwin denied pulling the trigger of the prop gun after the ABC News anchor pointed out that it wasn't in the script for the trigger to be pulled.

"Well, the trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger," Baldwin said during the interview.

When Stephanopoulos clarified, "So you never pulled the trigger?," Baldwin responded, "No, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never."

Baldwin, entangled with a number of lawsuits stemming from the fatal shooting, insisted he had no idea how a real bullet got on set. "Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property," he claimed.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, the lead agency in the homicide investigation, said in a statement Thursday that its office received the FBI's forensic report -- as well as other FBI documents -- on Aug. 2, and that they were immediately forwarded to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) for review.

ABC News reported that it also obtained a postmortem report, which indicated Hutchins' death was classified an accident.

"Death was caused by a gunshot wound of the chest. Review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set," according to the postmortem report obtained by ABC News. "Based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death, the manner of death is best classified as accident.”

As for where the investigation currently stands, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office in New Mexico has not filed any charges in Hutchins' death. The Sheriff's Office said detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department in New York are actively assisting its office and the D.A.'s Office in obtaining, processing, and disclosing Baldwin's phone records. The Sheriff's Office says those records are forthcoming. 

"The District Attorney's Office has been working with Suffolk County PD, and Baldwin's lawyer to acquire the phone records," Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said. "Once Suffolk County PD completes its agency assist and sends those records to New Mexico law enforcement, our detectives will need to then thoroughly review those phone records for evidentiary purposes."

Baldwin turning over his phone to authorities was a point of contention as far back as January.

Mendoza added that, once Sheriff's detectives complete their review of the OMI reports, and once the phone records are received and reviewed by detectives, the final Sheriff's Office investigative case file will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review and final charging decisions.

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