Alec Baldwin denies responsibility for fatal shooting on set
American actor Alec Baldwin has fiercely insisted that he was not to blame in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a western shot in New Mexico, claiming that another person had accidentally placed a bullet in the pistol which went off in his grasp while he was rehearsing a scene.
“Someone put a live bullet into a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Mr. Baldwin said in a television interview that aired Thursday night. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but I know it’s not me,” he added.
Mr. Baldwin made the comments in a moving ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, the first time Mr. Baldwin publicly reported on what happened in October, reports The New York Times.
The actor’s description of the episode may throw a more in-depth look at the crew members and vendors and the question of who was responsible for protecting guns in low-budget production.
In the interview, excerpts of which were released on Wednesday, Mr Baldwin also said he did not pull the trigger on the weapon he was training with on the set of “Rust” when fired live ammunition.
âI would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger – never,â Mr. Baldwin said.
The fatal shooting took place on October 21 near Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a film set designed to be a church. Mr Baldwin was practicing firing an old-fashioned revolver that he had been told did not contain live ammunition when he suddenly fired, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring its director, Joel Souza, 48 years old.
Mr Baldwin said he was stunned by what had happened and at least 45 minutes passed after the shot was fired before he realized he could have contained an actual bullet.
âI stood over her for 60 seconds as she just lay there in shock,â Mr. Baldwin said.
The actor added that he did not cock the hammer with the pistol, but shot it as far as he could and let go in an action that could have triggered it.
“I let go of the hammer – bang, the gun goes off.”
Investigators are looking to determine how a live bullet entered the pistol Mr. Baldwin was training with, why crew members who inspected him on set did not notice, and why the pistol fired.
As detectives work to trace the source of the live bullet, the focus has been on Seth Kenney, who provided blanks and dummy bullets for production.
According to court documents filed Tuesday, detectives are trying to determine if Mr. Kenney sent live ammunition as well as blanks and dummies, and they searched his business in Albuquerque, PDQ Arm & Prop.
Mr Kenney said in an interview that he was convinced he was not the source of any live rounds.
“It can’t be that they are from the PDQ or from me personally,” he told “Good Morning America.”
Since the fatal shooting, two crew members who were in the room when the gunshot went off have filed separate lawsuits, naming Mr. Baldwin, the film’s producers and other crew members, including Mr. Halls and Mrs. Gutierrez-Reed, as accused.
Both lawsuits indicate that Mr. Baldwin should have checked the gun himself to see if it was safe to handle.
In the interview, Mr Baldwin said that on the day of the shooting, one of the plaintiffs touched his shoulder and said he was not responsible for what had happened.
Mr. Baldwin declined to say which complainant it was. Serge Svetnoy, one of the crew members who made the complaint, told ABC he said this to Mr Baldwin, but then changed his mind.
The actor insisted the tragedy occurred after he was handed the gun and told it was safe, and Ms Hutchins herself told him how the position. He and Ms Hutchins assumed the gun was safe to handle, he said.
âI’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it,â Mr. Baldwin said. “I can’t imagine that I would make a movie again in which there was a gun,” he added.
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