Alec Baldwin Explains How He Handled Gun in Moments Before Fatal 'Rust' Shooting
Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos he pulled “the hammer as far back as far as [he] could without cocking the actual gun.” Then, when he let go of the hammer, Baldwin says the gun went off with a bang.
There's mixed reaction Friday following Alec Baldwin’s interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos — the actor's first sit-down interview since the Oct. 21 fatal shooting on the set of “Rust.”
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me,” Baldwin said.
Some offered their sympathy, while others condemned what they saw as Baldwin not taking responsibility.
In the interview, Baldwin said he was merely following cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ directions moments before the gun discharged, accidentally killing her.
“Everything is at her direction. She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin also gave a detailed explanation of how the gun went off, he says, without him pulling the trigger.
Baldwin told Stephanopoulos he pulled “the hammer as far back as far as [he] could without cocking the actual gun.” Then, when he let go of the hammer, Baldwin says the gun went off with a bang.
Inside Edition spoke to Hollywood prop master Dutch Merrick about the explanation.
“This old western gun that go back 150 years has a midway point for the hammer, so if you pull it back halfway, it should stay there. So it’s a curiosity to me — is the gun malfunctioning or did [Baldwin] not pull it back past that point?” Merrick said.
Firearms safety expert Steve Wolf also gave Inside Edition his reaction.
“Is it possible that parts could have worn out, that there was something defective inside of the gun? That's a possibility,” Wolf said.
Baldwin also had a frosty reaction to a comment made by actor George Clooney.
“Every single time I'm handed a gun on a set, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I'm pointing it to. We show it to the crew. Everyone does it. Everybody knows it,” Clooney said on Marc Maron’s podcast.
“There were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comments on the situation, which really didn't help the situation at all. If your protocol is you check the gun every time, well good for you. Good for you,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin was also scornful of former President Donald Trump, who he regularly spoofed on “Saturday Night Live.”
“The former president of the United States said that I’m a wacko or whatever, and that I probably shot her and killed her on purpose. And I thought to myself, ‘Just when you think that things can't get more surreal, here's the former president of the United states making a comment on this tragic situation,’” Baldwin said.
The actor also revealed that his wife, Hilaria, was on the other end of the phone in the famous photo of him taken shortly after the fatal shooting.
Baldwin says he can’t see himself handling a gun in a movie ever again.
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