Rust Assistant Director Backs Up Baldwin's Account

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

On Thursday, I wrote about Alec Baldwin‘s claim that he never pulled the trigger that fateful day on the set of the movie Rust. For a lof us, that seems very unlikely. Even single-actions tend not to fire unless the trigger is pulled. However, as noted in that earlier post, there is a possibility that it might.

There’s also the possibility that Baldwin put pressure on the trigger and didn’t realize it or forgot about it.

However, the assistant director of the film claims that Baldwin is actually right.

The assistant director for “Rust” is backing Alec Baldwin‘s claim that the Academy Award winner didn’t pull the trigger in a shooting on the movie’s set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

“Dave has told me since the very first day I met him that Alec did not pull that trigger,” Lisa Torraco, an attorney for “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls, told “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

“The entire time Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard parallel to the barrel,” Torraco said Thursday, of statements Halls made to her. “And that he told me, since day one, he thought it was a misfire.”

So what does this mean?

Not a whole lot, to be honest.

I’m not saying Halls is necessarily lying or anything. I generally take people at their word unless I have a reason to believe otherwise. What I think is far more likely is that he’s either wrong or may not have been aware of what else was going on.

For example, Baldwin’s finger may have been off the trigger, but was he pulling the hammer back? If so, it may have slipped and fallen forward enough to cause the round to go off. It’s unlikely since single-actions tend to have things like half-cock positions and so on, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s a possibility. Would Halls have been paying attention to that?

Then again, Halls is also apparently the one who handed the gun to Baldwin and declared it a “cold gun,” despite it having a live round in it, so he might just have a vested interest in making it seem the gun just went off.

And none of that absolves Baldwin of having pointed a firearm at another person.

The truth of the matter is that while misfires can happen, they don’t tend to happen when a gun is just being moved a bit. If so, we’d likely see a whole lot more actually accidental discharges rather than negligent ones. That’s not what happens in 99.9999 percent of the cases.

Sure, there’s a possibility that this is the exception, of course.

However, here we need to think of horses, not zebras. What that means, if you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, is that rather than looking for some exotic cause, we should focus on far more common ones. This is usually applied to the medical field, where students tend to think they have some exotic disease when, in fact, it’s something they’ll go on to see a million more times.

It’s no different when looking at a case like this.

How much attention was Halls really playing to Baldwin’s finger placement? What else was Baldwin doing? Had the weapon been modified in any way?

Plus, how much of Halls response is, “Oh crap, I gave him that gun and said it was safe,” or something along those lines? Let’s be honest, he’s not exactly an uninterested bystander in this.

Halls’s comments of what happened on the set of Rust don’t actually answer any questions, even if they’re 100 percent factual. As we’ve seen far too often on this case, they just raise more.

Regardless, from what I can see, even if Baldwin actually did everything wrong–and I’m not ready to say he did–there’s more than enough blame for what happened to go around. And yeah, some of that blame lands on Halls.