A lawyer for the actor told CNN on Sunday that the FBI report is “misconstrued”.
“The gun only fired once during testing — without pulling the trigger — when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places,” attorney Luke Nikas said in an email to CNN. “The FBI was unable to fire the weapon in a previous test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such bad shape.”
“The critical report is that of the coroner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident,” Nikas said. “This is the third time New Mexico authorities have discovered that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on set, having been told by the person in charge of on-set safety that the gun was was “cold,” and believed the gun was safe,” Nikas told CNN.
In the summary of the postmortem inquiry into Hutchins’ death, which was formally signed by the New Mexico chief medical officer, the cause of death is listed as “gunshot wound to the chest” and the manner of death is listed as an “accident.” “
Review of available law enforcement reports showed no convincing demonstration that the firearm was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on the set. Based on all available information, including the absence of apparent intent to cause injury or death, the manner of death may be classified as an accident,” the report concluded.
Baldwin also described cocking the gun while talking through the scene with Hutchins in the ABC News interview. “So then I said to her, ‘In this scene I’m going to go to the gun.’ And I said, ‘Do you want to see that?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ So I grab the gun and start cocking the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger.”
Cocking a revolver pistol like the one used on the movie set involves pulling the gun’s hammer back to prepare the weapon to fire. When the gun’s hammer is released forward with enough force — as happens when the trigger is pulled — it hits an ammunition’s primer, causing the gun to fire.
The FBI’s forensic report was handed over to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office as part of the ongoing investigation into the fatal shooting.
The report found that the pistol, a .45 Colt (.45 Long Colt) caliber F.lli Pietta single-action revolver, “could not be made to fire without pulling the trigger” with the hammer cocked at the and ½ positions . It also found that when the weapon was fully cocked it “could not be made to fire without pulling the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.”
FBI investigators observed an internal failure of the gun during testing in the fully cocked position, with the report noting that “parts of the trigger screw and barrel stopper were broken as the hammer was struck.”
Pointing to the limitations of the forensic testing, the FBI report said, “It may not be possible to recreate or duplicate all the conditions that led to a firearm’s firing without pulling the trigger.”
A lawyer representing Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who served as the gunsmith and props assistant on the film, said the forensic report indicated that “Baldwin must have pulled the trigger to fire the revolver” and that the 24-year-old was being used. as a “scapegoat.”
Chloe Melas of CNN contributed to this report.