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Baldwin Explains Exactly How He Handled the Gun

Actor says he only cocked it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2021 6:29 AM CST
Baldwin: I Thought Hutchins Had Fainted
This image released by ABC News shows actor-producer Alec Baldwin, left, during an interview with “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos.   (Jeffrey Neira/ABC News via AP)

(Newser) – It was "45 minutes to an hour" after Rust cinematographer Halnya Hutchins had been shot that actor Alec Baldwin considered the possibility that a live round was in the prop gun he had pointed at her. Initially, he thought she might have fainted or suffered a heart attack after he cocked an antique Colt .45 revolver in her direction—at her request—while he rehearsed a scene, Baldwin told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview. No one expected a live round to be on the set, and Baldwin said assistant director Dave Halls handed him the revolver, telling him it was "cold," meaning empty or loaded with "dummy" rounds.

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He said he never pulled the trigger but cocked the gun, as required in the scene, then checked the camera angle with Hutchins. "I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit," he said. "I go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that? … And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off." Halls’ attorney, Lisa Torraco, backed up Baldwin's account Thursday, saying Halls was standing feet away from the actor and saw that "the entire time Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard parallel to the barrel" and "did not pull that trigger." Hutchins nonetheless received a live round to the chest.

Baldwin said he stood over Hutchins as she "laid there kind of in shock" before he was told to leave the area, per Deadline. He later went for an interview at the sheriff's office, where he was shown a photo of the bullet and was told Hutchins had died, he said. "Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me," he added. "I might have killed myself if I felt that I was responsible. And I don't say that lightly." While he said people "in the know" tell him he's unlikely to face criminal charges, he noted his career "could be" over. But "I couldn't give a s--- about my career anymore," he said, noting the shooting was the worst thing that ever happened to him. He added he "can't imagine" making another movie involving guns. (Read more Alec Baldwin stories.)

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