Actor Alec Baldwin said he "didn't pull the trigger" during the accidental fatal shooting on the set of his film Rust in October, but cocked it and the firearm unexpectedly discharged a live bullet when he released the hammer.
During an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that aired on Thursday (December 2) night, Baldwin, 63, said director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, who was killed in the accidental shooting, was directing his moves leading up to the weapon being fired.
"She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle," Baldwin said via ABC News. "I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit."
"So, I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I'm not going to pull the trigger," Baldwin continued. "And I cock the gun, I go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?' And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun – the gun goes off."
"So you never pulled the trigger?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"No, no, no, no, no," Baldwin said. "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never. That was the training that I had."
Lisa Torraco, an attorney for Rust assistant director Dave Halls, said she was told by Halls that Baldwin did not pull the trigger on the prop gun during the accidental shooting, which killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, 48, in October.
Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin about a lawsuit filed last month by Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, which accused Baldwin, who is named as a defendant in the civil suit, of "playing Russian roulette" prior to the death of the cinematographer.
"There are some who say you're never supposed to point a gun on anyone on a set no matter what," Stephanopoulos asked the actor.
"Unless the person is the cinematographer, who's directing me at where to point the gun for her camera angle," Baldwin responded. "I didn't point the gun at her, and she said, 'Hey, man, don't point the gun at me.' I pointed the gun in a direction she wanted."
"Do you feel guilt?," Stephanopoulos asked.
"No. No," Baldwin said. "I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."
Last month, the New York Times reported the gun involved in the shooting was left unattended for two hours prior to accident taking place.
Jason Bowles, an attorney representing Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, told the Times the gun was left on a tray for about two hours after Gutierrez-Reed loaded it with six dummy rounds, who took the ammunition from a box labeled "dummies," which are rounds that contain no gunpowder and are used to resemble bullets during filming.
Gutierrez-Reed's other attorney, Robert Gorence, said the armorer loaded three firearms set to be used later during the filming session, including the .45 Long Colt used by Baldwin, and left the guns encased in socks to prevent anyone who happened to pass by from handling them before going on a lunch break and leaving the weapons unattended.
A two-hour episode 20/20 chronicling the events leading up to the deadly on-set Rust shooting and the ongoing investigation will air next Friday (December 10) at 9:01 p.m. ET.