Alec Baldwin had his finger on the trigger of the gun
New video from 'Rust' shooting in sheriff evidence contradicts actor's claim
Note to readers: I’m going through all the evidence (documents, photos, videos) that the Santa Fe Sheriff released today about the Baldwin shooting and updating my story here: Sheriff releases Alec Baldwin 'Rust' shooting investigation files with crime scene photos, videos after actor claims he's exonerated. So keep checking that link for updates.
Alec Baldwin declared on ABC News that he never had his finger on the trigger when he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins. But the Santa Fe Sheriff released a video from the movie set that shows Baldwin holding the gun with his finger curved around the trigger.
Baldwin is pointing the gun directly at the camera where cinematographer Hutchins was standing. I’ve confirmed he did this right before he shot her and director Joel Souza (see update at the bottom.)
I uploaded the video Santa Fe Sheriff Adam Mendoza released on Monday here to watch (the red arrow is mine):
This is what Baldwin said to George Stephanopoulos:
“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled — I didn’t pull the trigger,” replied Baldwin.
Notice he said it in third person at first and then corrected himself?
“So you never pulled the trigger?” asked Stephanopoulos
“No no no no. I would never point a gun at anyone and and pull a trigger at them,” Baldwin said definitively.
I fact checked this claim with experts and all agreed that Baldwin’s assertion was almost impossible he shot the gun with just the hammer.
Even Glenn Kessler, who is The Washington Post’s fact checker and paid subscriber to my newsletter, said my reporting on Baldwin’s unlikely claim was solid.
Here’s a still from the movie:
I don’t know if Baldwin is lying about pulling the trigger and didn’t know there was evidence proving it. Or he just didn’t realize he did it and then broke two other gun safety rules— making sure the gun is unloaded and keeping it pointed in a safe direction.
Either way, he doesn’t have the slightest remorse or assumes any blame for killing Hutchins. And his lies are catching up to him.
Update 4/26: Baldwin’s defenders on social media say this video is not a smoking gun because it wasn’t when he shot Halyna. So I asked the Sheriff’s spokesman, Juan Rios, on Tuesday about the timing of the video.
Rios told me, “It was shot the day of the shooting.” So we know that Baldwin pointed a gun at the camera (where Halyna and Souza were standing) and had his finger on the trigger.
While I’ve been waiting for big video files of Baldwin to download from the sheriff’s dropbox, I made this meme. Feel free to take and share.
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1st rule of handling a firearm...check it. Even if the person handing it to you has checked it, check it again. NEVER point a firearm at anyone and never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to safely shoot it at something other than a human being (unless they are storming your home...). Alec did not follow any basic firearm safety rules and regardless of who handed him the 'cold' gun, he is responsible for not being a responsible gun handler. He killed a woman and is blaming her for telling him to point a loaded gun at her. Had he followed basic gun safety he would have discovered it was loaded and the tragedy could have been avoided. But he is a hack and a narcissist so there is that.
Anyone with any experience shooting knew this all along. Baldwin has been trying to spin this since his first phone call to his people.