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Alec Baldwin claims he didn’t pull the trigger of the “Rust” prop gun

Oct 25, 2021

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Update (12/2/21): In an interview set to air Thursday night, Alec Baldwin claims he didn’t pull the trigger on the prop gun he was holding when it went off on the set of the western film “Rust.” ABC released a clip from the interview Wednesday.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”

The interview is Baldwin’s first sit-down interview since the shooting. Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the “Rust” set. However, they have also said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed. Independent civil lawsuits have been filed.

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Original Story (10/25/21): In an email to crew members sent Sunday night, a movie production team confirmed that work on the movie “Rust” has been suspended at least until the investigation into last week’s deadly prop gun shooting is complete. That investigation continued Monday.

“Although our hearts are broken, and it is hard to see beyond the horizon, this is, at the moment, a pause rather than an end,” the email read. The production’s team said it is working with law enforcement and is conducting its own internal safety review.

Alec Baldwin fired the prop gun while on the “Rust” set. According to court documents released over the weekend, the actor had been told the gun was safe to use for the rehearsal of a scene in which he was supposed to pull out the weapon while sitting in a church pew and point it at the camera. Court documents said moments before the shooting, Baldwin was explaining how he was going to draw the revolver from his holster and where his arm would be positioned.

“This case just screams negligence. I don’t see any criminal liability. I see this whole situation as being an exceedingly unfortunate series of events that obviously ended very tragically,” lawyer Nina Marino said about the “Rust” prop gun shooting. “But other than the negligence of perhaps the person in charge of the armory, you know, I think that the studio is going to have significant liability based on negligence.”

The shooting killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchin. A vigil was held for her Sunday night. The video above shows clips from the vigil.

“We lost an incredibly talented person that mattered in this industry, and she was doing her job when she got killed,” International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees medic Margarita Velona said at the vigil. “We need to make an enlightenment of safety on set and that we matter – all lives matter – and people need to do their jobs to their caliber.”

Assistant director Dave Halls was the one who handed Baldwin the gun. On Sunday, a crew member who worked with Halls on another project said she had raised safety concerns about him in 2019. In a phone interview, Maggie Goll said Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness on set.

Margarita Velona, IATSE Local 80 medic: “We lost an incredibly talented person that mattered in this industry, and she was doing her job when she got killed. And unfortunately, we lost a life. We lost – she lost her… a child lost his mom, a husband lost his wife, parents lost their daughter. We lost a family member.”

“What brings me out here is the fact that we need to make an enlightenment of safety on set and that we matter – all lives matter – and people need to do their jobs to their caliber. And what happened out here was that they were not, they brought in people that had no experience to do a job that needed extreme amount of experience and safety experience.”

“I don’t have a problem with guns on set, they just need to come from the correct hands and they should only be handled safely through our armor, through our A.Ds (referring to assistant directors), through our director and make sure that they are safe.”


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