A recent gun analysis may once again put Alec Baldwin in the spotlight of potential charges in the ‘Rust’ shooting case. Despite Baldwin’s insistent claims that he never pulled the trigger of the Colt .45 revolver that fatally wounded cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a comprehensive analysis conducted by experts suggests otherwise.
Forensic experts from Arizona and New Mexico, spearheaded by Lucien Haag of Forensic Science Services in Arizona, analyzed the markings on a spent cartridge from the revolver. Their report concluded that the trigger had to have been either “pulled or depressed” for the gun to fire. The analysis further elaborated, “This fatal incident was the result of the hammer being manually retracted to its fully rearward and cocked position, followed, at some point, by the pull or rearward depression of the trigger.”
On October 21, 2021, during a rehearsal for the low-budget Western, Baldwin alleges he merely pulled back the revolver’s hammer, asserting that it fired unintentionally as he aimed it at Hutchins, who was stationed behind the camera. Contrary to his claims, the new forensic findings are leading legal experts to consider the implications for Baldwin’s liability.
Though Baldwin faced an involuntary manslaughter charge earlier, it was dropped in April without prejudice. The basis for the charge dismissal cited potential modifications made to the revolver prior to the shooting, which might have caused it to malfunction.
However, the current analysis of the Colt .45, along with a broader examination of weapons and ammunition from the “Rust” set, has brought forth the possibility of Baldwin facing renewed charges. Kari Morrissey, the New Mexico special prosecutor for the “Rust” case, indicated in a recent email that an official announcement regarding possible charges against Baldwin is forthcoming, though a specific timeline was not provided.