The crew member in charge of firearm safety for the film “Rust” said she has “no idea” where live rounds found on the movie set came from, her lawyers said Thursday, a week after the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said she was “devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired” after actor Alec Baldwin accidentally fatally shot Hutchins with a live round earlier this month during rehearsal for the Western film in New Mexico.
“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set,” attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence said in a statement released late Thursday night. “Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from.”
First assistant director Dave Halls admitted to investigators that he didn’t thoroughly check all the rounds in the prop gun that killed Hutchins and also wounded director Joel Souza. Reed reportedly opened the gun for Halls to inspect, but Halls said he couldn’t remember if Reed spun the drum of the firearm to allow for a full inspection.
“We identified two other people that handled and or inspected the loaded gun prior to Baldwin firing the weapon,” Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said Wednesday. “These two individuals are armorer Hannah Reed-Gutierrez and Assistant Director David Halls. All three individuals have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements.”
Minutes before the fatal shooting, Baldwin was told by Halls that he was carrying a “cold gun,” meaning the weapon had no live rounds. In the new statement, Reed’s lawyers said the armorer had “checked the ‘dummies’ and made sure there were not ‘hot rounds’” in the gun.
Just hours beforehand, several camera crew members walked off the set to protest unsafe working conditions. One source told The Los Angeles Times that the camera workers were replaced by nonunion workers.
“Corners were being cut — and they brought in nonunion people so they could continue shooting,” the source told the newspaper.
The police are continuing to investigate.