Rust assistant director maintains Alec Baldwin 'did not pull that trigger' in shooting, lawyer says

Alec Baldwin
(Image credit: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

After Alec Baldwin claimed he never pulled the trigger on the prop gun that discharged on the set of the movie Rust and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the film's assistant director is backing him up.

Baldwin sat down with ABC News for his first TV interview about the accidental on-set shooting, and in a clip released by the network, the actor said he "didn't pull the trigger," as he would "never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them." An attorney for Rust assistant director Dave Halls told ABC that Halls has also said this.

"He told me since day one he thought it was a misfire," attorney Lisa Torraco said of her client. "...And until Alec said that, it was just really hard to believe, but Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger."

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Torraco also told ABC that according to Halls, "the entire time, Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard, parallel to the barrel."

Baldwin was previously hit with a lawsuit from Rust's script supervisor, who said there was "nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by defendant Baldwin or by any other person." George Stephanopoulos raised this point in the ABC interview, asking Baldwin why he pulled the trigger when this wasn't in the script, but Baldwin responded that the "trigger wasn't pulled" at all.

Stephen Gutowski, founder of the firearms publication The Reload, wrote Thursday that while Baldwin's claim may sound "far-fetched," it's "somewhat more believable" in this case because the type of gun involved in the shooting "is more prone to firing without the trigger being pulled. And, even though it's a modern replica of an antique design, it's possible it did not include modern safety devices." The full interview with Baldwin about the shooting is set to air Thursday on ABC.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.