New Evidence Baldwin Was Reckless With Gun Before ‘Rust’ Shooting, Prosecutors Say

Alec Baldwin

New evidence indicates Alec Baldwin acted recklessly with a revolver before it fired a live round that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021, according to prosecutors preparing for Baldwin’s July manslaughter trial. Prosecutors, in a Monday filing, alleged that images and videos from crew and a set photographer show Baldwin pointing his gun at a crew member and firing a blank round, keeping his finger on the trigger when he shouldn’t have, and engaging in horseplay with the weapon.

Baldwin’s legal team, in a motion to dismiss charges filed on Monday, argued that prosecutors based their case on the unproven hypothesis that the gun functioned properly and couldn’t have fired unless Baldwin pulled the trigger, which the actor denies. The defense claimed the gun had been modified, allowing it to fire without a trigger pull, a central issue in the 17-month-old case.

Hutchins died after “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez mistakenly loaded a live round into Baldwin’s reproduction Colt .45 revolver during filming at a movie-set church near Santa Fe, New Mexico. In March, the court found Gutierrez guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced her in April to 18 months in prison, the same term Baldwin will face if convicted.

Baldwin, the star of “30 Rock,” claimed he was directed to point the gun toward the camera, cocked it, and it “went off” on its own. Prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Erlinda Johnson intend to present new evidence at the July 9 trial, including an image by set photographer Karen Kuehn taken minutes before a 911 call on the shooting. The photo allegedly shows Baldwin with his finger inside the trigger guard and his thumb on the hammer.

A video clip taken by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell a few hours before the shooting appears to show Baldwin cocking the gun and possibly pulling the trigger, according to prosecutors. In another unspecified video from the day of the shooting, Baldwin allegedly cocks the gun when asked to point it left of the camera, despite not being asked to. Prosecutors claimed there is some evidence he also pulls the trigger of the gun.

Movie industry firearms safety guidelines instruct actors never to put their finger on the trigger until ready to shoot, to treat all firearms as though loaded, and to avoid pointing a gun at anyone unless absolutely necessary, and then only in consultation with a safety expert. Prosecutors noted that some of the video evidence they listed had already been shown at Gutierrez’s March trial.