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There is now a suggestion, from the attorney for the armorer on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust” that what happened may not have been a tragic accident but murder.
In an interview on Wednesday on “The Today Show” Jason Bowles, the attorney for armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, explained what he believes happened to host Savannah Guthrie, The Daily Mail reported.
“There was a box of dummy rounds, and the box is labeled “dummy,'” he said. “[Gutierrez Reed] loaded rounds from that box into the handgun, only later to find out – she had no idea – that there was a live round.”
The gun was given to assistant director David Halls who gave the firearm to Baldwin and announced “cold gun.”
“We’re assuming somebody put the live round in that box,” the attorney said. “The person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set. There is no other reason you would do that: that you would mix that live round in with the dummy rounds.”
The attorney theorized that a disgruntled worker could have planted the live round to sabotage the set.
“I believe that somebody who would do that, would want to sabotage the set, would want to prove a point, want to say they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy,” he said.
“And we know that people had already walked off the set the day before… and the reason they are unhappy is they’re working 12 to 14 hour days, they are not given hotel rooms in and around the area, so they had to drive back and forth an hour to Albuquerque, and they’re unhappy,” he said.
Robert Gorence, another attorney for the armorer, said the Coly gun had been locked away but the prop ammunition was in a prop truck that was “completely unattended at all times, giving someone access and opportunity.”
Gorence also said that after the armorer retrieved the gun and loaded it with the rounds from the box, it was left unattended on a trey for two hours ahead of an afternoon film shoot.
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers defended her actions that day, saying that the loaded gun was not in her care for the entire duration of the filming because she was expected to perform two jobs on set: as an armorer and a props assistant.
Bowels said that after lunch, Gutierrez Reed handed the gun she had loaded earlier to Halls and then went about performing her other duties as a props assistant.
As she handed over the Colt, the lawyer said Gutierrez Reed spun the chamber to show Halls the rounds inside.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 3, 2021
“She did spin the cylinder for him,” her attorney said. “She did show him each and every round in that chamber, which there were six.”
He said: “The problem is, when you look at a dummy round and you look at their appearance, they have the same projectile tip; some of these do not have a hole in the side. They mimic and look like a real round.”
Her attorneys said that she is “absolutely devastated” about the tragic death on the set.
“’He remains very emotional about everything that’s happened,” her attorney said. “Coming on the scene and everything that she saw, she is heartbroken and she is just devastated by what’s happened.”
“Rust” camera assistant Lane Luper, who quit the day before the show, said on “Good Morning America” that there were only two safety meetings that took place on the set.
“I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,” he said.