Alec Baldwin says a private investigator he hired to probe what happened on the Rust set has led him to believe that neither he nor anyone else will be charged in the fatal shooting on the set.
Baldwin believes authorities will determine that the death of Halyna Hutchins was an accident, he said in new interview with CNN.
“That private investigator, as you probably know, did not have a difficult time accessing the staff of the Sheriff’s Department, and that person told us, quote-unquote, ‘We’ve known in the department since January that Alec would not be charged with a crime,’” Baldwin said.
Baldwin added that “I sincerely believe … [investigators are] going to say that this was an accident,” and that he doesn’t think Rust armorer and props assistant Hannah Gutierrez Reed nor assistant director Dave Halls would be charged either.
Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin, told CNN in an initial interview that the FBI report “is being misconstrued.” In a subsequent interview, Nikas said if the actor is charged, “it would be a huge miscarriage of justice.”
He added, “When Alec Baldwin showed up that tragic day for filming, he had not a single reason in the world to think that there was a live bullet in that gun, in that church, or even on that property.”
Baldwin’s latest Rust investigation comments follow the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Aug. 11 announcement that the FBI’s forensic analysis and the New Mexico medical investigator’s report into the Oct. 21 shooting death of cinematographer were complete and that those documents were under review by the office.
The sheriff’s office announced it is also working with other law enforcement agencies to obtain, process and disclose Baldwin’s phone records.
“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,” Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in the statement.
The findings of all those reports will be shared with the District Attorney, who will determine whether charges will be filed in the shooting that also wounded director Joel Souza.
The FBI forensics analysis, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, determined that following accidental discharge testing, the gun held by Baldwin on the film’s set when it discharged and struck Hutchins while rehearsing a scene “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.”
In a December 2021 interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin stated that he had not pulled the trigger of the gun and had only “pulled the hammer as far back as I could without cocking the gun.”
“I let go of the hammer and bang, the gun goes off,” he continued.
Speaking to CNN, Baldwin denied saying the gun had gone off in his hand automatically. “I always said I pulled the hammer back, and I pulled it back as far as I could,” he said. “I never took the gun and pointed it at somebody and clicked the thing.”
The results of the state’s medical investigator report determined that “based on all available information, including the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death” Hutchins’ manner of death has been classified as an accident.
The office also concluded that Hutchins’ death was caused by a gunshot wound to the chest and that a “review of available law enforcement reports showed no compelling demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on set.”
Later in his CNN interview, Baldwin shared his stance on finishing the movie, which has been paused since Oct. 25, 2021, noting that he’s “all for” finishing Rust to honor Hutchins, but “more importantly, we wanted to put the money in the kid’s pocket,” Baldwin said, in reference to Hutchins’ son. He also shared that he’d lost five jobs since the Rust shooting, including a recent role following the release of the FBI forensics analysis.
“I got fired from another job yesterday,” he said. “There I was all set to go to a movie, jump on a plane … I’ve been talking with these guys for months and they told me yesterday we don’t want to do the film with you because of this.”
While Baldwin said he considered quitting the industry following the shooting, but he actually became concerned about his personal safety after Donald Trump suggested the actor had shot Hutchins intentionally, a kind of stress that has “taken years off my life.”
“To me, [that was] the only time I thought about … that I worried about what was going to happen to me,” Baldwin said. “Because here was Trump who instructed people to commit acts of violence and he was pointing the finger at me and saying I was responsible for the death.”