Alec Baldwin said he did not pull the trigger of the gun that fired a live bullet and killed a cinematographer on the set of the movie Rust, according to an excerpt of an upcoming television interview that was released on Wednesday.
Baldwin, who was holding a gun he was told was safe when it went off, spoke in his first full interview about the Oct. 21 shooting in New Mexico.
“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” the actor told ABC television journalist George Stephanopoulos, according to the excerpt of the interview, which is to be broadcast on Thursday.
“So you never pulled the trigger?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never,” Baldwin replied.
Asked by @GStephanopoulos how a real bullet got on the “Rust” set, Alec Baldwin says: “I have no idea. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded in what Baldwin has previously called a tragic accident on the set of the Western movie he was making near Santa Fe.
Authorities in Santa Fe could not immediately be reached for comment on Baldwin’s statement on Wednesday.
No criminal charges have been filed. Investigators have been focusing their efforts on how live ammunition found its way onto the set.
Baldwin says in the ABC interview that he had no idea how a live bullet got onto the set. At one point, Stephanopoulus asks him, “The gun was in your hand. How do you come to terms with that?” and Baldwin is visibly emotional as he starts crying.
The actor, best known for playing an egotistical TV network executive on the TV comedy series 30 Rock, has kept a low profile since the accident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
Baldwin, who was the star and also a producer on the low-budget Western, “went through in detail what happened on the set that day,” Stephanopoulus said on Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America show ahead of the broadcast.
“As you can imagine he’s devastated but he was also very candid, he was very forthcoming. He answered every question,” Stephanopoulos said.
Two crew members have filed civil lawsuits accusing Baldwin, the producers and others on the production of negligence and lax safety protocols. The producers have said they are conducting their own internal investigation.