Medical Investigator Rules Film Death Accidental

FBI forensics report says trigger must have been pulled, conflicting with Alec Baldwin's account
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2022 7:55 PM CDT
Medical Investigator Rules Film Death Accidental
The Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(Newser) – The fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin last year was an accident, New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator has determined after an autopsy and a review of law enforcement reports. But Baldwin isn't in the clear yet. Prosecutors have not decided if any charges will be filed in the case, the AP reports. They said they want to review the latest reports and receive cellphone data from Baldwin's attorneys. The medical investigator's report was made public Monday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office along with numerous reports from the FBI on the revolver and ammunition that were collected following the shooting. One FBI report conflicts with Baldwin's account of the fatal shooting.

Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when it went off on Oct. 21, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza. Baldwin's legal team suggested that the new medical investigator's report proves the shooting was "a tragic accident" and that he should not face criminal charges. "This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was 'cold’ and believed the gun was safe," attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement.

But an FBI forensic report says the gun could not have gone off without the trigger being pulled, per ABC News, whose reporters have seen the test results. "The trigger wasn't pulled," Baldwin said in an ABC interview in December. "I didn't pull the trigger." The attorney for Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of the weapons on the film set, said the FBI findings contradict Baldwin's account. "These new filings demonstrate various production members' attempts from the very beginning to shirk responsibility and scapegoat Hannah, a 24-year-old armorer, for this tragedy," Jason Bowles said. The FBI forensics report "is being misconstrued," Nikas said. "The critical report is the one from the medical examiner," he said. (Read more Alec Baldwin stories.)

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