Alec Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger on "Rust" set

In his first interview since the fatal shooting, the actor says he never pulled the trigger on the prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

In his first interview since the fatal incident on the set of the film Rust, Alec Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger on the gun that led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. In an early excerpt from an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos that airs Thursday evening, Stephanopoulos notes to the actor, “It wasn’t in the script for the trigger being pulled.”

“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled,” Baldwin says. “I didn’t pull the trigger.”

In October, Hutchins was shot — along with the Rust’s director Joel Souza, who survived — when a live round discharged from a prop gun that Baldwin was holding during a dress rehearsal on the film’s set in New Mexico. The incident has led to lawsuits, major public scrutiny, and an ongoing investigation over what the exact circumstances were that led to the tragedy, including how a live round ended up in the prop gun. This new revelation from Baldwin, who, aside from a couple brief statements online, has remained publicly silent in the aftermath, only adds to the questions.

“So you never pulled the trigger?” Stephanopoulos reiterates in the interview.

“No, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never,” Baldwin says. He adds, later on: “Someone put a live bullet in the gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”

The fallout from the incident has led many to call for industry-wide changes in certain procedures on film sets, but also speculation around whether those on the set of Rust failed to follow what is already proper protocol when it comes to firearms on-set. The speculation has come from other high-profile actors as well, such as George Clooney, whose recent remarks over always checking the guns he is handed on-set Stephanopoulos references in the interview.

“Is this the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?” Stephanopoulos asks at one point in the excerpt.

“Yes,” Baldwin replies immediately before becoming thoughtful. “Because I think back and I think of what could I have done.”

Hutchins, Baldwin says before breaking down in tears, “was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with (her), and liked by everyone who worked with (her), and admired.” The full interview airs tomorrow on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.