As part of the ongoing investigation into exactly what happened on the set of Rust when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after a prop gun with a live round was discharged by Alec Baldwin, the attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have stated they are looking into the possibility of “sabotage.”
According to Deadline, Gutierrez-Reed is currently under investigation by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s department along with Rust’s assistant director David Halls. Her attorney Jason Bowles tells the Today show they’re looking into whether a live bullet was placed in a box of dummy rounds with the intent of “sabotaging the set,” pointing to the crew walkout that took place hours before the incident.
“I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove point, want to say that they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy,” Bowles tells Today. “And we know that people had walked off the set the day before.”
Gutierrez-Reed attests she had no idea where the live round came from, and she and Halls were the last to inspect the weapon before handing it off to Baldwin. Her attorneys also stress Gutierrez-Reed was unable to do her job as armorer to the fullest extent as she was stretched thin having two jobs on set.
“We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn’t have been there,” Bowles continues. “We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled. We have a time frame between 11 (a.m.) and 1 (p.m.), approximately, that day, in which the firearms at times were unattended, so there was opportunity to tamper with this scene.”
Robert Gorence, Gutierrez-Reed’s second attorney, alleges the prop truck on set “was completely unattended at all times, giving someone access and opportunity.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza says the investigation is set to last for a few months, with potential criminal charges not ruled out at the moment.