Sheriff Slams Alec Baldwin’s Claim That He Didn’t Pull the Trigger on ‘Rust’ Set: ‘Guns Don’t Just Go Off’

Alec Baldwin claims he didn’t pull the trigger in the October Rust accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. But a Santa Fe, New Mexico sheriff questions that defense. In the growing chaos generated by the aftermath of the accident, Mendoza says one thing is certainly true: guns don’t just discharge themselves. 

The sheriff says the gun was in Alec Baldwin’s hands 

Alec Baldwin in an interview with George Stephanopoulos
Alec Baldwin and George Stephanopous | Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images

In the months following the October 21, 2021 shooting on the Alec Baldwin’s Rust set, an endless list of questions continues to emerge. In a segment released by ABC, Baldwin himself recently spoke out, saying that he didn’t even pull the trigger. The accident killed Rust director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Furthermore, it wounded director Joel Souza.

“The trigger wasn’t pulled,” he tells George Stephanopoulos in the clip, according to CNN. “I didn’t pull the trigger.” Baldwin says that he would not knowingly point and shoot at anyone. “I would never point a gun at anyone and then pull the trigger, never,” Baldwin says.  

However, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza questions that statement. In a statement to Fox News Digital, he said things like that simply don’t happen. 

“Guns don’t just go off,” Mendoza said. “So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.” Moreover, Mendoza previously stated that the production fell into “complacency.” 

“Obviously I think the industry has had a record recently of being safe,” Mendoza stated during a press conference a week after the shooting. “I think there was some complacency on this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico.” 

The Alec Baldwin accident occurred at the iconic Bonanza Creek Ranch — a popular destination for Western films. An investigation into the matter is ongoing in New Mexico. 

Donald Trump accused Alec Baldwin of firing the gun on purpose 

Former President Donald Trump raised eyebrows in the early aftermath of the accident, making claims that Baldwin meant to fire the fatal shot. 

“In my opinion, he had something to do with it,” Trump said on conservative talk podcast The Chris Stigall Show in early November 2021. “But if nothing else, how do you take a gun, whether it’s loaded or not loaded, how do you take a gun, point it at somebody that’s not even in the movie, and just point it at this person and pull the trigger, and now she’s dead.” 

Additionally, Trump openly attacked Baldwin and questioned his intentions. “Even if it was loaded, and, you know, that’s a weird thing, maybe he loaded it,” Trump continued. “If they handed me a gun, I would never point it at somebody and shoot it…He’s a troubled guy. There’s something wrong with him. I’ve watched him for years. He gets into fistfights with reporters… I mean, everything he does, he’s a volatile guy. He’s a nutjob.” 

The shooting accident on the set of ‘Rust’ is prompting change

Regardless of how Baldwin discharged the weapon — or if he did at all — the shooting prompts serious discussions about what should change on movie sets. 

“I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you, without an absence of clarity here, that any movie that we have moving forward with Seven Bucks Productions — any movie, any television show, or anything we do or produce — we won’t use real guns at all,” Dwayne Johnson told Variety at Netflix’s Red Notice premiere on November 3. 

“We’re going to switch over to rubber guns, and we’re going to take care of it in post,” Johnson added. 

Alec Baldwin himself took to social media to call for police on the set of any movie that plans to use firearms. 

However, those changes won’t come quickly enough for Halyna Hutchins. Her family laid her to rest with a memorial service in mid-November of 2021. 

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