Alec Baldwin said on Thursday he assumed the gun he was holding was empty of live bullets before it went off and killed a cinematographer during a rehearsal last month on the set of his Western movie Rust.
In an emotional television interview, the actor also said he did not see any safety issues on the set before the accident.
“We both assumed the gun was empty other than those, you know, dummy rounds,” Baldwin told ABC television’s George Stephanopoulos in his first public comments about the Oct. 21 shooting. The actor had been handed the gun by a crew member and told it was safe.
He said he did not pull the trigger.
“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them,” Baldwin said. “The notion there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until abut 45 minutes later.”
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded when the gun fired off a live bullet.
The incident is still being investigated by authorities in New Mexico.
No criminal charges have been filed, but two crew members have filed civil lawsuits accusing Baldwin, the producers and others of negligence and lax safety protocols.
“I did not observe any safety or security issues at all in the time I was there,” Baldwin said.
Santa Fe authorities are focusing on how a live bullet, rather than a blank, ended up in the gun and how live rounds got onto the set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch.
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