ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — The fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin last year was an accident, according to a decision by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator following the completion of an autopsy and review of law enforcement reports.
The medical investigator’s report was released Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, along with numerous FBI reports on the gun and ammunition that were recovered after the shooting.
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether charges will be brought in the case, saying they will review the latest reports and are awaiting cellphone data from Baldwin’s lawyers.
Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when it exploded Oct. 21, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. They had been inside a small church during setup to film a scene.
While it’s too early to tell what weight the medical investigator’s report will have on the district attorney’s office, Baldwin’s legal team suggested it was further evidence that the shooting was “a tragic accident and that he should not face criminal charges.
“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, that the person in charge of on-set security told him that the weapon was ‘cold’, ‘and believed the weapon was safe,” attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement.
Baudouin said in a December interview with ABC News that he was pointing the gun at Hutchins following his instructions on the set of the Western movie “Rust” when it exploded after cocking him. He said he didn’t pull the trigger.
An FBI analysis of the revolver Baldwin had in his hand during the rehearsal suggested that it was in working order at the time and would not have discharged unless fully cocked and the trigger was pulled.
With the hammer in the fully cocked position, the FBI report stated that the weapon could not fire without pulling the trigger as long as the working internals were intact and functional.
During FBI testing of the weapon, authorities said, parts of the trigger and cylinder stop fractured as the hammer was struck. This allowed the hammer to fall and the firing pin to detonate the primer.
“This was the only successful discharge during these tests and was attributed to fracture of internal components, not failure of the firearm or safety mechanisms,” the report said.
The FBI report does not specify how many times the hammer of the revolver may have been struck during testing.
Baldwin, who was also a producer on the movie “Rust,” previously said the gun shouldn’t have been loaded for rehearsal.
Among the ammunition seized at the shooting site were live ammunition found on a cart and in the case that was in the building where the shooting occurred. Blank and dummy cartridges were also found.
New Mexico Office of Occupational Health and Safety in a scathing report published in April detailed an account of security lapses in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two on-set misfires before the fatal shoot.
The office also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not authorized to make decisions about additional safety training.
In concluding that the shooting was an accident, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator noted “no obvious intent to cause injury or death” and said there was “no no convincing demonstration” that the revolver had been intentionally loaded with live ammunition. on the tray.
Associated Press writer Walter Berry in Phoenix contributed to this report.
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