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FBI Casts Doubt On Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' Trigger Defense

People in law enforcement uniforms and civilian clothes exit a building with masks on.
County and state officials exit the Santa Fe County Public Safety Building in New Mexico ahead of a news conference to update members of the media on the shooting accident on the set of the movie "Rust."
(Sam Wasson
Getty Images)
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Actor Alec Baldwin, who fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust movie set last October, said he didn’t pull the trigger on the gun that killed her. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now casting doubt on Baldwin’s explanation.

In an interview with ABC News late last year, Baldwin suggested the gun discharged on its own. “The trigger wasn’t pulled,” the actor said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never.”

But the FBI says the gun, which inexplicably was loaded with live ammunition, “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger.” Last week’s FBI analysis was sent to New Mexico authorities.

No criminal charges have yet been filed some 11 months after Baldwin killed Hutchins and wounded the film’s director, Joel Souza.

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A number of competing civil lawsuits have placed blame on Baldwin and several Rust crew members, arguing that the production skirted safety laws.

In February, Hutchins' husband and their 9-year-old son brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, who also served as a producer of Rust. They alleged that Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Hutchins was the tragic consequence of negligence and violating safety rules.

Matthew and Andros Hutchins said Baldwin is largely responsible for killing Hutchins because he didn't follow “basic rules for safe gun handling,” including failing to treat the gun as if it were loaded and failing to aim it away from Hutchins. The civil action says Baldwin violated New Mexico criminal law because he “recklessly caused a deadly weapon to discharge.”

In March, Baldwin said the cinematographer herself ordered Baldwin to aim the gun at her and to pull back its hammer before the gun went off. That account, the most complete he has offered to date, came a month after the Hutchins family sued Baldwin.

New Mexico safety investigators then fined the production in April, saying that Hutchins death was the result of “plain indifference” to gun safety.

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