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Emotional Alec Baldwin says, 'I didn't pull the trigger' on 'Rust' set

The actor breaks down in tears in a new interview about the fatal slaying of Halyna Hutchins.
/ Source: NBC News

A tearful Alec Baldwin said he "didn't pull the trigger" in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, whose death rocked Hollywood and raised concerns about weapons on movie sets.

In an interview with ABC News that is scheduled to air Thursday, Baldwin appeared baffled about how the shooting happened.

"Well, the trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger," he said in a clip released Wednesday. "No, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never."

Hutchins, 42, was killed and director Joel Souza, 48, was wounded by a round apparently fired by Baldwin on the New Mexico set of the Western movie “Rust” on Oct. 21 at Bonanza Creek Ranch, in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, officials have said.

“I have no idea" how it happened, Baldwin told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property."

Much of the attention has fallen on assistant director Dave Halls, who was fired from the film “Freedom’s Path” in 2019 after a gun unexpectedly discharged on the set in New Mexico, injuring a crew member, a producer for the film has said.

Investigators said in a search warrant affidavit that Halls yelled “cold gun” on the “Rust” set before he gave Baldwin the weapon, indicating incorrectly that it didn’t have any live rounds.

Halls’ attorney, Lisa Torraco, has said that he didn’t hand the gun to Baldwin and that checking to see whether it was loaded wasn’t his responsibility.

In an interview that aired on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday, Torraco said Halls has been telling her for weeks that Baldwin didn't pull the trigger on the "Rust" set.

"Since day one, he thought it was a misfire," Torraco said. "And until Alec said that, it was really hard to believe but Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger."

Baldwin told Stephanopoulos that Hutchins was popular among her peers.

"She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with [her] and liked by everyone who worked with [her] and admired," he said, his voice choking with emotion as he wiped away tears. "I mean, even now I find it hard to believe that. It just doesn't seem real to me."

A representative for the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the case, declined to discuss Baldwin's interview Wednesday.

Baldwin, an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actor, said he's at a loss over how the tragedy unfolded, telling ABC News: "I think back and I think of what could I have done?"

The full interview airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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