Hollywood star Alec Baldwin has said he is not responsible for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the movie set of the film, Rust, in October.
In his first interview since the incident, the United States actor said that while he was holding the gun that shot Hutchins, he did not pull the trigger.
The 63 year old said he “would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them”, and reiterated that he was told the gun was “safe” by crew members in charge of weapons on the set.
“I feel someone is responsible for what happened, but I know it isn’t me. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don’t say that lightly,” Baldwin told ABC news anchor George Stephanopoulos.
He added he has been “told by people in the know” that he is unlikely to face criminal charges for the October 21 shooting in the state of New Mexico, which also wounded director Joel Souza.
The incident, including how live ammunition made its way to the set, is still being investigated by authorities in New Mexico. No criminal charges have been filed.
Baldwin said he was rehearsing camera angles with Hutchins when he cocked the gun and it fired.
“In this scene, I am going to cock the gun. I said, ‘Do you want to see that?’ And she said yes. So I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I’m not going to pull the trigger,” he said.
“I said, ‘Did you see that?’ She said, ‘Well just cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit like that’. And I cocked the gun and go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? And I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off.”
Baldwin said he first thought Hutchins had fainted and he was not told until hours later that she had died.
He said he “couldn’t imagine” ever making a movie that involved guns again.
Also a producer on the film, Baldwin said he had not heard “one word” about there being concerns about safety issues on the set, although some crew members who resigned prior to the incident have said it was because of a lax approach to safety.
Two crew members have filed civil lawsuits accusing Baldwin, the producers and others of negligence and lacking safety protocols on the set.
Baldwin said he “personally did not observe any safety or security issues at all in the time I was there”.
He also said he had met the film’s armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed for a gun training session before the shoot, and she appeared capable and responsible.
“I assumed because she was there and she was hired that she was up to the job,” he said.
Gutierrez Reed has been the subject of much of the scrutiny in the case.
Her lawyer has said she did not put the round in the gun, and believes she was the victim of sabotage. Authorities say they have found no evidence of that.