Lawyers for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on set for “Rust,” said Wednesday that a third party may have introduced the live round that killed Halyna Hutchins on set of the film as an act of “sabotage.”
Attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence told “Today” host Savannah Guthrie that Gutierrez-Reed loaded the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins from a box labeled “dummy rounds” and that she inspected the rounds. They said what remains unknown is how a live round wound up in a “dummy” box, and they suggested that the round could have come from someone on the production who was unhappy.
“The person who put the live round in that box had to have the purpose of sabotaging this set, there’s no other reason you would do that,” Bowles told Guthrie. “I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove a point, want to say that they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy. And we know that people had walked off the set the day before.”
Bowles and Gorence did not offer any evidence or proof to substantiate their claim.
However, Bowles alluded to reports that the film’s camera crew had walked off the set of “Rust” hours before Hutchins’ death to protest what they said were poor working conditions, long hours on set, inadequate housing and the need to travel a far distance to set from their provided hotels. On Tuesday, Baldwin reposted a social media post from costume designer Terese Magpale Davis, who pushed back on some of those accusations of chaotic working conditions on set.
Bowles added that they’re trying to get all the facts as part of their own investigation, and suggested that there was an “opportunity” for a disgruntled worker to tamper with the scene.
“We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn’t have been there,” Bowles said. “We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled. We have a time frame between 11 and 1, approximately, that day, in which the firearms at times were unattended, so there was opportunity to tamper with this scene.”
Guthrie also pressed the lawyers as to whether it was Gutierrez-Reed’s responsibility to check the weapons and whether she had spun the barrel for assistant director Dave Halls to inspect. Bowles noted that in addition to her role as armorer, Gutierrez-Reed was also tasked with being a props assistant, and she was unable to attend to the firearms during that two-hour period.
Her lawyers did, however, say that Gutierrez-Reed spun the barrel for Halls and that she was not present in the church at the time the gun discharged. Halls had previously told police he was unsure if he checked all the rounds in the barrel or if he recalled Gutierrez-Reed showing him the barrel.
View the full interview via “Today.”