By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Alec Baldwin said he feels incredible sadness and regret over the shooting that killed a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set, but not guilt.
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me,” Baldwin said in an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired Thursday night, the first time the actor has spoken in depth on screen about the Oct. 21 shooting on the set of the Western “Rust.” “Honest to god, if I felt I was responsible, I might have killed myself.”
Baldwin said it is essential for investigators to find out who put the bullet in the gun he fired, that was supposed to be empty, that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
“There’s only one question to be resolved, and that’s where did the live round come from?” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said in a clip from the interview released a day earlier that “I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
He said it was Hutchins herself who asked him to point the gun just off camera and toward her armpit before it went off.
Baldwin said at Hutchins’ direction he pulled the hammer back.
“I let go of the hammer and ‘bang’ the gun goes off,” he said.
When Stephanopoulos told Baldwin that many say you should never point a gun directly at someone on a set, he responded, “unless the person is the cinematographer who was directing me where to point the gun for her camera angle.”
Baldwin said it was 45 minutes to an hour before he began to understand that a live round had been in the gun, and didn’t know it for sure until he was being interviewed hours later. He thought Hutchins might have been hurt by a blank at close range or had a heart attack.
“The idea that somebody put a live bullet in the gun was not even in reality.”
He had one of several tearful moments when he described Hutchins, saying she was “somebody who was loved by everybody and admired by everybody who worked with her.”
Baldwin said he was doing the interview to counter public misconceptions about the shooting and to make it clear that “I would go to any lengths to undo what happened.”
But Baldwin said “I want to make sure that I don’t come across like I’m the victim because we have two victims here.”
Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the “Rust” set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed, amid independent civil lawsuits concerning liability in the fatal shooting.
Baldwin said he met with the film’s armorer Hanna 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.