Weapons expert reveals why he doesn't believe Alec Baldwin's claim that he didn't pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

A VETERAN prop master has called “bulls**t” on Alec Baldwin's claims that he didn't pull the trigger of the gun that fired a live round on the set of Rust, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Bill Davis, a retired cop who has worked on more than 300 movies and TV shows, disputed the chain of events outlined by the actor during an interview with ABC on Thursday.

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

Baldwin sat down with ABC 20/20 on Thursday for his first interview since the fatal shooting Credit: ABC News

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

Halyna Hutchins, 41, died after suffering a single gunshot wound to the chest Credit: Supplied as a technical service. No is implied or inferred.

“Guns never just fire themselves – especially the single-action .45 revolver he was using at the time,” Davis said.

“Simply put, his excuse is bulls**t,” he continued.

When quizzed about how common it is for a gun to malfunction and fire without the trigger being pulled, Davis responded: “It doesn't. [It's] uncommon to the max!”

Davis added that he thinks Baldwin is “full of s**t.”

In an article published on TheReload.com, firearms reporter Stephen Gutowski said that, at first glance, Baldwin's claims appear “far-fetched” because it's “exceedingly rare for a gun to fire without the trigger being depressed.”

“Modern firearms, even replicas of antique guns, have safeties specifically designed to prevent them from firing without the trigger being pulled,” he explained. “It only really happens when the gun’s firing mechanism is damaged, or there is a significant design flaw.

“In Baldwin’s case, though, the claim is at least somewhat more believable. That’s because the gun involved 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.”

Gutowski outlined two scenarios that he said would support Baldwin's claims, but said: “both seem improbable.”

“The first is is the hammer being pulled back far enough to set off a round but not far enough to catch a sear. That's a real hard sell,” Gutowski tweeted.

“The next scenario is some sort of mechanical issue with the gun itself. Something that kept the sears from engaging the hammer. But, that should've been pretty easy to spot by anyone handling the gun. It would be clear it was broken.”

In summary, Gutowski wrote: “It's much more likely the trigger was depressed while Baldwin was manipulating the hammer. Or, he just pulled the trigger after the hammer was cocked. That is the most plausible explanation in all of this.”

'I NEVER PULLED THE TRIGGER'

Baldwin told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that moments before the fatal shooting, on October 21, he and Hutchins had met to discuss the particulars of an upcoming scene, in which his wounded character draws his revolver on two foes who have cornered him inside a church.

During rehearsal in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Baldwin said the film’s first assistant director, Dave Halls, handed him a revolver and told him it was “cold” – meaning it was meant to be either unloaded or loaded with non-firing dummy rounds.

With the gun grasped in his hand, Baldwin said he and Hutchins began blocking out the scene, with Hutchins allegedly directing his every move.

“Everything was at her direction. This was a marking rehearsal,” Baldwin said. “And [Hutchins] says to me, ‘Hold the gun lower. Go to your right. Okay, right there. All right, do that. Now show it a little bit lower.’ And she's getting me to position the gun.”

Eventually, Baldwin said he ended up aiming the gun right below her armpit, which is where he claims Hutchins told him that “she wants me to hold [it].”

He then said he needed to cock the gun – but not fire it – in order to get the shot.

“The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger,” the 63-year-old said.

“I cock the gun. I go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?’

“And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun, the gun goes off.”

When asked by Stephanopoulos to clarify if he ever pulled the trigger, Baldwin responded: “No, no, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them.”

SET STUNNED BY LOUD BANG

Baldwin's version of events was corroborated by Halls' attorney, Lisa Torraco, who told the network her client said “from day one” that he was watching from a few feet away and “the entire time Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard parallel to the barrel … that Alec did not pull that trigger.”

After cocking the hammer, Baldwin recalled hearing a loud bang and watching Hutchins drop to the floor.

“I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?’” he said. “The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.”

Hutchins had in fact suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest. Director Joel Souza, who had been standing directly behind Hutchins, was shot in the shoulder.

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

The shooting happened during a rehearsal inside a small on-set church Credit: Facebook

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

The church where the shooting happened is shown above Credit: AP

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

Baldwin cried on numerous occasions during the interview Credit: ABC News

Baldwin said he stood over Hutchins, paralyzed by shock for around 60 seconds before being ushered out of the room.

He was later summoned to the Sante Fe Sheriff's Office where he was shown an image of the bullet that had struck Hutchins and Souza. It was also there that he learned Hutchins had died.

“At the very end of my interview with the sheriff's department … they said to me, ‘We regret to tell you that [Hutchins] didn't make it,’” Baldwin said. “They told me right then and there.”

'NOT TO BLAME'

Baldwin claims he had no idea how a live round came to be on set.

He said: “Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property.

“Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me.”

Much of the public scrutiny surrounding the tragedy on the set of Rust just over a month ago has been centered around the production's 24-year-old armorer and prop master, Hannah Gutierrez Reed.

Gutierrez Reed, who had only worked as an armorer on one other film prior, was in charge of maintaining, handling, loading, and unloading any weapons on set.

During Thursday's interview, Baldwin was asked whether he believed Gutierrez Reed was qualified for the position.

“I assumed because she was there and she was hired she was up for the job,” Baldwin, a co-producer of the move, responded. “I mean, I'm not a producer that hires the crew.”

'HEADS WILL ROLL'

Bill Davis previously called Gutierrez Reed's credentials into question to The Sun, accusing her of “flagrant negligence” and insisting she, Baldwin, and Halls could all likely face criminal charges.

“People that were in positions of power on this set, like our prop mistress, shouldn't have been. She's only 24-years-old and by law, in America, you have to be 21 to handle firearms,” he said.

“I have never met this young lady, I don’t know her from Adam, but what I can tell you is she screwed up and now someone is dead. It’s as simple as that.”

He continued: “Heads are going to roll … If I was the armorer on that set I would be expecting to face criminal charges.

“The cops have a shot at going after her for negligent homicide because she was negligent.

“Those charges would probably be brought down to manslaughter and it’s possible that Baldwin could get that too, but I really doubt it because of his name and the Hollywood community will rally behind him – even though he hasn’t made too many friends lately. 

“Also the first assistant director – he’s the one who took the gun off the table, and he’s not even qualified to handle it. I bet he couldn’t name one part of that gun, yet he’s the one who handed it to the actor,” he claimed. “It makes no sense.”

Baldwin also sowed doubt on his chances of facing criminal charges on Thursday.

“I've been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it's highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” he told ABC.

When asked if he felt guilt, he said he didn't, adding: “I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don't say that lightly.”

Baldwin, however, continued that Hutchin's death has left him emotionally scarred and weighs heavily on his mind.

“I have dreams about this constantly now,” Baldwin said. “I go through my day, and I make it through the day. Then I collapse at the end of the day. Emotionally, I collapse.”

BALDWIN'S CAREER OVER?

The 41-year-old rising star's death has also prompted him to consider whether he should bring an abrupt end to his 40-year movie career.

“I couldn't give a s**t about my career anymore,” he said. “It could be [over].”

In the meantime, Baldwin said he's determined to get answers for Hutchins' husband Mathew, and her nine-year-old son, with whom he has shared emotional meetings.

Recounting their first meeting to ABC, Baldwin said: “I didn't know what to say.

“[Matthew] hugged [me] and he goes, like, ‘I suppose you and I are going to go through this together,’ he said. And I thought, ‘Well, not as much as you are.’”

While insisting he wasn't a victim, Baldwin characterized the tragic on-set mishap as the worst thing that's ever happened to him.

“Yes – because I think back and I think of what could I have done?

“[Hutchins] was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with [her] and liked by everyone who worked with [her], and admired…,” he continued, breaking down in tears.

“I mean, even now I find it hard to believe that [she's gone]. It doesn't seem real to me.”

PROBE CONTINUES

Hutchins was regarded as a rising star in the film industry, having begun her career in 2012.

The 41-year-old was best known for her work on films such as Archenemy, Darlin’, and Blindfire.

The investigation into her death remains ongoing.

The tragedy has also renewed calls for better safety practices on sets with regards to the use of weapons and black rounds.

Baldwin has said he believes police officers should be present on “every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise” to monitor weapons safety.

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

Halyna is survived by her husband and her nine-year-old son Credit: Instagram/Halyna Hutchins

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

She was considered a rising star in the industry Credit: Instagram/Halyna Hutchins

Weapons expert reveals why he doesn’t believe Alec Baldwin’s claim that he didn’t pull trigger in deadly Rust shooting

Baldwin said he may never act again Credit: AP

Alec Baldwin interview – Star accused of ‘acting’ as he admits he didn’t know Halyna Hutchins was dead for ’45 minutes’

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