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Medical Investigator Makes Official Ruling in Baldwin’s Fatal Shooting On Movie Set

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A top state medical examiner has made a crucial determination in regards to actor Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

In a statement from New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator on Monday, the investigator has determined that the shooting, which occurred on the set of the film “Rust” late last year, was accidental.

The determination was released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and comes on the heels of reports over the weekend pertaining to the FBI’s results regarding the firearm involved in the shooting death.

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While prosecutors wait to collect cellphone data, they have yet to make a determination as to whether the actor will be charged with any crimes in relation to the incident.

Baldwin attorney Luke Nikas noted in a statement following the medical investigator’s report: “This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was ‘cold,’ and believed the gun was safe.”

Over the weekend, an FBI forensic exam of the firearm determined that it could not have gone off unless the trigger was pulled.

The Daily Wire added:

The report, obtained by ABC News, says that the .45 Colt revolver “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger” while in a quarter-cocked position, a half-cocked position, and a fully-cocked position.

If the hammer on the revolver was in the de-cocked position, the firearm could discharge a round by striking the hammer, which is a standard way that a revolver operates.

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Earlier this month, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in a statement that prosecutors were not ruling out anything regarding possible courses of action moving forward.

“Once the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office (‘FJDA’) receives the completed investigation from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office (‘SFSO’), the FJDA will begin the screening process and any necessary follow-up investigation,” she said. “To date, my office has received portions of the Rust investigation from SFSO but is still awaiting the balance of supplemental reports including, but not limited to, the following: FBI firearm and tool mark analyses, forensic testing on the firearm itself, the forensic download from Suffolk County PD of Mr. Baldwin’s phone, and the pathology report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator.”

“Once SFSO receives those—and any other outstanding items—and completes its supplemental reports, the screening process will begin, and my team and I will make a charging decision,” her statement continued. “To expedite the FJDA review process, I have added retired Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb to the team, as a special prosecutor for this case. To remain transparent to the local and national community, the FJDA will proactively disseminate information as it becomes available.”

Baldwin has insisted that he did not pull the trigger, but the FBI’s report said that there was no way the bullet could have been fired if the trigger was not pulled.

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With the hammer in the quarter- and half-cock positions, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,” the report stated.

With the hammer fully cocked, the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional,” the report stated.

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With the hammer de-cocked on a loaded chamber, the gun was able to detonate a primer “without a pull of the trigger when the hammer was struck directly,” which is normal for this type of revolver, the report stated.

In December Baldwin, in his first interview after the fatal shooting on the set of the film “Rust”, tearfully denied that he was the one who pulled the trigger.

“She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with and liked by everyone who worked with and admired. … I mean, even now, I find it hard to believe that. It just doesn’t seem to seem real to me,” Baldwin, in tears, said in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

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