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Sheriff Responds After Alec Baldwin Claims He ‘Didn’t Pull The Trigger’ In Fatal Rust Shooting

Emily Brown


Sheriff Responds After Alec Baldwin Claims He 'Didn't Pull The Trigger' In Fatal Rust ShootingABC News/Alamy

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has responded to Alec Baldwin’s claim he ‘didn’t pull the trigger’ on the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. 

Hutchins passed away after being shot on the set of the western film Rust as Baldwin rehearsed for a scene with a gun he believed to be safe.


The weapon was reportedly handed to Baldwin by the film’s assistant director, Dave Halls, who did not know it contained live ammunition. Director Joel Souza was also injured when the gun discharged.

Halyna Hutchins grave (Alamy)Alamy

This week, Baldwin conducted his first sit-down interview since the incident with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. In a clip shared ahead of its release this evening, December 2, Baldwin stressed he would ‘never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never’.

The actor became emotional as he recalled the incident and claimed ‘the trigger wasn’t pulled’, saying, ‘I didn’t pull the trigger.’


In response to the clip, Mendoza told Fox News Digital that guns ‘don’t just go off’. He continued, ‘So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.’

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department has explained it is currently awaiting results from the FBI that would shed light on how the gun fired, whether it involved just pulling back the hammer, which hits the firing pin, just pulling the trigger, or both.

On Wednesday, December 1, weapons armorer Bryan W. Carpenter told Fox News Digital that firing a revolver such as the one reportedly used in the Rust incident without pulling the trigger would be ‘rare’.


He explained:

In order to make it fire, you have to put your thumb up onto the hammer, cock the hammer all the way back, and then as the hammer is completely cocked back, then you pull the trigger and then the gun fires.

So that’s very important because that gun had to have two step process to fire. It had to be cocked and the trigger pulled to fire.

Alec Baldwin (Alamy)Alamy

Though firing the gun involves a two-step process, Carpenter noted that it ‘doesn’t take a lot to set that trigger off’ once the hammer has been cocked back on one of the ‘Old West guns’, adding, ‘They’re very light triggers.’


When asked by Stephanopoulos how a live bullet had made its way onto the Rust set in the first place, Baldwin responded to say he had ‘no idea’. The actor commented, ‘Someone put a live bullet into a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.’

Baldwin’s interview is set to air at 8pm ET on ABC.

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Topics: Celebrity, Alec Baldwin, gun, Halyna Hutchins, Rust


Fox News Digital
  1. Fox News Digital

    Alec Baldwin's claim he didn't pull trigger on 'Rust' questioned by sheriff: 'Guns don't just go off'

Emily Brown
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