7:38 AM PDT, November 4, 2021
A lawyer for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is suggesting the possibility of sabotage on the set before last month’s fatal shooting.
Attorney Jason Bowles floated the claim that someone may have intentionally placed a live round in a box of dummy rounds that Gutierrez-Reed used to load the gun that Alec Baldwin fired, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
“There was a live round, at least one, potentially more, placed in that box, somehow by somebody,” Bowles told Inside Edition.
When asked who would have placed a live round in the box of dummies, Bowles said, “We’re not ruling anybody out in our investigation. We’re looking at everything — if there were people disgruntled on the set, they had walked off the day before.”
Hours before the fatal shooting, several crew members walked off set over safety concerns and housing accommodations.
For the first time, Bowles said Wednesday that Gutierrez-Reed, who has been under scrutiny since the Oct. 21 shooting, was not inside the church when Baldwin shot the gun, because she was doing her other job as a prop assistant.
“She was not in the church, and at that time, they were doing what’s called tech prep. So [assistant director] David Halls had the firearm. He was sitting in the pew when she left. They were positioning the cameras. There was not supposed to be a scene at that point or any kind of rehearsal,” Bowles said.
He also Gutierrez-Reed had checked all chambers before handing the gun off to Halls.
“The armorer did check it. She spun the cylinder for Mr. Halls. Mr. Halls then had the duty to check it and had to ensure before he handed it to somebody else,” Bowles said.
And he says it would be very difficult to have recognized a live round inside the chamber.
“This is an example of a dummy round, if you can see it. A dummy round has a projectile tip. It has a cylinder. It has a primer. It resembles a real round,” Bowles said.
Halls’ attorney has said it was not his duty to check the gun.
Bowles also said in other interviews Wednesday that the gun was left unattended on a tray for about two hours on the day of the shooting, but acknowledged there is no evidence at this point that establishes foul play, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin filled his Instagram page with screenshots from the movie’s costume designer, who defended Baldwin and safety conditions on set.
“I am so sick of this narrative. I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bull****,” Terese Magpale Davis wrote.
But a camera assistant who quit the day before the shooting says safety concerns were ignored.
“Lax COVID policies, the housing situation — driving to and from Albuquerque — and specifically gun safety, a lack of rehearsals,” the camera assistant said on “Good Morning America.”
The movie’s production company has previously said it never received an official complaint concerning weapon or prop safety.