Alec Baldwin’s fatal ‘Rust’ gunshot still a ‘negligent discharge,’ expert says

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Alec Baldwin claimed that he fired the revolver that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins without pulling the trigger during a recent tell-all interview.

“I let go of the hammer of the gun,” Baldwin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during the interview. “And the gun goes off.”

Alec Baldwin revealed the revolver he was holding on the set of “Rust” fired after he pulled the hammer of the gun back and released it.
(Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images)

Weapons armorer Bryan W. Carpenter told Fox News Digital that pulling the hammer back and releasing it, causing the gun to fire, is still considered a “negligent discharge.”

“You have to cock the hammer, you have to pull the trigger, or you have to cock the hammer and let it fly forward, one of the two things, which requires an operator to do it,” Carpenter explained. “And if an operator is doing it, then they’re in control of the weapon. And if they’re cocking the hammer, they’re in the two-part process of firing it. And if they slip and let the hammer fall down, that’s still a negligent discharge.”

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Carpenter explained that cocking the hammer back and releasing it still requires a human hand.

“If you cocked that hammer back, and you let it go, that’s still a negligent discharge,” he added. “You accidentally discharged that weapon, and it’s your fault.”

“So, you were just cocking the hammer back, it slipped and went off. It’s not the gun’s fault. It’s your fault because when that gun is sitting in a resting state, it’s in a neutral state. And someone, an operator, somebody has to do something to that gun to make it fire or not fire.”

Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk Radio and firearms expert, told Fox News Digital that two things could have happened for the revolver to fire without Baldwin pulling the trigger.

“The first is that there is a mechanical problem with the revolver,” Gresham explained. “The investigators will determine this.”

 Gun experts explained to Fox News how that could have occurred and why it is still considered a "negligent discharge."

 Gun experts explained to Fox News how that could have occurred and why it is still considered a “negligent discharge.”
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

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“The other very slight possibility is that he released the hammer before it was cocked fully,” Gresham added. “Several other things would have to go wrong for this to fire the gun. I rank this as beyond highly unlikely.”

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Fox News Digital it is awaiting results from the FBI which would shed light on how the gun could have been fired.

“Guns don’t just go off,” Sheriff Adan Mendoza told Fox News Digital. “So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that, and it was in his hands.”

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Baldwin made the claim during his first sit-down interview since the fatal shooting on Oct. 21.

Baldwin made the claim during his first sit-down interview since the fatal shooting on Oct. 21.
(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

Baldwin and Hutchins had been setting up for a shot where the actor was supposed to draw the gun and point it at the camera, according to the actor. While standing next to the camera, the cinematographer was “guiding” Baldwin on where to point the gun, he said. “The gun wasn’t meant to be fired in that angle,” he confirmed.

Baldwin also admitted the angle they were practicing “might not have ended up in the film at all.”

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