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What did Alec Baldwin say in his first interview since the shooting?

In an interview with ABC News released on Thursday evening, Baldwin wept as he discussed the events leading up to the fatal shooting.

Actor Alec Baldwin gestures before walking on the red carpet during the commemoration of the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25th year fall gala at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, in New York, U.S. November 7, 2017.
Shannon StapletonReuters

The 60-minute Alec Baldwin special was broadcast via ABC and will begin streaming later on the Hulu service later this evening.

The network also has a 2-hour special show planned for December 10, investigating the events leading up to the shooting, as well as the fallout.

What happened on the set of Rust?

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot dead Director of photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, who was pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured in the accident, which took place on October 22, 2021.

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There has yet to be a court appearance for those involved, but there has been much speculation over how the shooting could have happened.

The weapon was only supposed to be firing blanks, it is a prop gun after all. These weapons are never loaded with real bullets, with actors always firing blank cartridges. Which leads to the question: could a gun loaded with blanks kill a person? Perhaps there were no blanks at all.

Furthermore, police announced on December 1 that there was a new search warrant issued for the Rust set and that the bullet which killed Ms. Hutchins may have been found. Why was there a real bullet in a prop gun?

What did Alec Baldwin say in the interview?

In the trailer, Baldwin recounted the moments leading up to the shooting.

"Someone put live ammunition in that gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be in the building," he said.

The actor, who also served as a producer on the film, broke down in tears when talking about Hutchins' death: "It doesn't seem real to me," he said.

She was someone "loved and admired by everyone who worked with her," he recalled.

This was expanded upon in the full interview, which can be viewed on Hulu if you missed the live show.

"We have two victims here"

Baldwin began the interview by telling Stephanpopulos "I want to make sure that I don’t come across as the victim. We have two victims here." He also wanted the public to know that "what happened on that day was precipitated on one idea" that both he and Halyna both had "profoundly in common... We assumed the gun was empty. Except for the dummy rounds."

That fateful day Halyna Hutchins was killed and Joel Souza the director was wounded, both by the same bullet. The incident happened when Hutchins was testing camera angles for a section of the movie. According to Baldwin he had been handed a "cold gun" for the test. He explained to Stephanpopulos the trigger was never pulled.

A loud bang

While practicing for a shot that was "completely incidental" and may never have ended up in the film according to Baldwin, he asked Hutchins if she wanted to see the gun with the hammer cocked. She agreed and Balwin pulled back the hammer but just a little way, "I let go of the hammer and the gun goes off. That was the moment," he said.

The loud explosion "horrified" everyone, none of whom were wearing earplugs since it was just a rehearsal. That's when Hutchins fell to the floor and Baldwin asked himself "Did she faint?" or "Did she have a heat attack?" He told Stephanpopulos that he rushed over to her but was maybe with her for 60 seconds before he was rushed out of the church where they had been rehearsing.

Baldwin didn't know Hutchins had been shot for perhaps an hour

The sets health staff called 911 dispatch to inform of an accident involving a film gun and asked for an ambulance. When the ambulance and police arrived crime scene tape was set up around the set, and yet Baldwin still didn't know that either of his co-workers had been shot. "It wasn't until I was in the police station," Baldwin told Stephanpopulos that was when he found out.

Still the idea "was unacceptable" to Baldwin until the police officer "showed me the .45 caliber slug." He was informed that it had come out of his Souza's arm and was the same bullet that had killed Hutchins. That was the first Baldwin knew that his other co-worker had been wounded too.