Investigators conducted an informal experiment to see if the actor's statement that he did not pull the trigger was plausible.

One of the most shocking claims to surface from the tragic incident that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust came from Alec Baldwin, one of the stars of the western.

During a recent ABC News interview, the actor said he "didn't pull the trigger" of the gun that fatally wounded Hutchins, even though he was pointing what he thought to be a harmless prop in her direction when it fired during a rehearsal for the film. New details from the ongoing investigation suggest this assertion is not as implausible as one might think.

Vanity Fair reporter Anthony Breznican conducted numerous interviews surrounding the incident, including with the investigators looking into it. Santa Fe County district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said her team conducted an informal experiment to see if what Baldwin was saying was possible. It turns out, it is.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
| Credit: Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Baldwin said he pulled back the hammer on the gun without pulling the trigger.

"One of the investigators in my office happens to have a very old type revolver, and so he brought it, at my request, so that we could look at it and see if that was at all possible," Carmack-Altwies told Vanity Fair.

After two investigators, including the one who supplied the gun, examined the weapon, Carmack-Altwies came to a conclusion. "You can pull the hammer back without actually pulling the trigger and without actually locking it," she explained. "So you pull it back partway, it doesn't lock, and then if you let it go, the firing pin can hit the primer of the bullet."

It is unclear at this point what Carmack-Altwies and the investigators will do with this information.

The shooting occurred at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 21, 2021. Rust director Joel Souza was injured but survived, while Hutchins died after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Investigators are looking into multiple factors that could have contributed to the tragedy.

Hutchins' family is currently suing Baldwin and other Rust crew members for wrongful death.

"Halyna deserved to live," reads the complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE. "The Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations."

Baldwin's attorney, Aaron Dyer, told EW in a statement that "any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false."

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