‘Rust’ Armorer’s Lawyers Introduce Possibility of ‘Sabotage’ on Set
The “Rust” investigation is underway, and now lawyers for the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed are dropping a bombshell: the possibility of sabotage.
On October 21, news broke that Alec Baldwin had fired the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded writer-director Joel Souza on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico.
Gutierrez Reed was responsible for loading the gun with dummy ammunition, and her attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence appeared on the “Today” show to discuss how a live round ended up in that gun.
Introducing a shocking new possibility, Bowles suggested “the person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging this set.”
Savannah questioned the idea, and Bowles insisted, “We don’t have a theory yet, we are investigating and trying to get all the facts. That is one of the possibilities.”
Guthrie pressed further, asking, “Who would do that and who had the motive and the opportunity?”
Bowles replied, “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. And we know that people had already walked off the set the day before.”
He added of the disgruntled employees, “I think you can’t rule anybody out at this point.”
Asked if the gun was left unattended on set, Gorence said, “It was left unattended from 11 to after 1 o’clock… the guns are locked in a safe, the prop ammunition was in a truck, the prop truck, that was completely unattended at all times, giving someone access and opportunity.”
Bowles explained that the items were left unattended because Hannah had other duties to attend to for her additional role as a key props assistant.
Guthrie also wanted to know why Hannah didn’t realize there was a live round in the chamber, considering her expertise. Bowles emphasized, “When you look at a dummy round and you look at their appearance, they have the same projectile tip… They mimic and look like a real round.”
Previously, the lawyers released a statement on Gutierrez Reed’s behalf, saying, “Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from.”
The case is under investigation, and last week Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said of Gutierrez Reed and assistant director David Halls during an interview with Guthrie, "Those two individuals are obviously the focus of the investigation." He also confirmed, "Nobody’s been cleared as of yet.”
Meanwhile, First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told “Today’s” Miguel Almaguer that criminal charges have not been ruled out, saying, "We know mistakes happened. We’re not exactly sure who did, when they did, how they did it."
In a new search warrant affidavit released last week reveals Halls admitted to authorities he should have checked all rounds in the gun before handing it to Alec, but did not.
A month before tragedy struck the “Rust” set, prop master Neal W. Zoromski was approached to work on the project.
“Extra” guest host Eddie Cibrian spoke to Neal, who opened up on the "warning signs" he saw before turning it down. Watch!