Gun used in ‘Rust’ shooting ‘destroyed,’ defense says

FILE – This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. A Santa Fe district attorney is prepared to announce whether to press charges in the fatal 2021 film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal on the set of the Western movie “Rust.” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said a decision will be announced Thursday morning, Jan. 19, 2022, in a statement and on social media platforms. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(NewsNation) — Defense attorneys disclosed Thursday that the prop gun used by actor Alec Baldwin in a 2021 fatal shooting on a New Mexico film set has been “destroyed.”

The revelation came during a status hearing in the criminal case against Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it discharged on the set of “Rust” on Oct. 21, 2021. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded in the shooting.

Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He maintains he never pulled the trigger of the Colt revolver.

Alex Spiro, a defense attorney for Baldwin, said during the status hearing that prosecutors informed them the 1880s prop gun “was destroyed by the state.”

“That’s obviously an issue, and we’re going to have to see that firearm, or what’s left of it,” Spiro said.

The prosecution did not dispute whether the gun was destroyed or in pieces.

Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with manslaughter in the death of Hutchins. During a rehearsal, Baldwin pointed a revolver at Hutchins and Souza and it discharged.

The gun, which was not required to be fired in the scene, had been loaded with live ammunition, and Hutchins was killed. Souza was also injured after the round passed through Hutchins and hit him.

An FBI forensic report concluded the gun could not have been fired without pulling the trigger.


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