A lawyer for the woman who oversaw weapons used on Rust has said an act of “sabotage” may have caused the shooting that led to the death of a cinematographer on the movie set.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the armourer in charge of weapons on the Western movie set in New Mexico, United States, where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot Halyna Hutchins last month.
Attorney Jason Bowles told US networks his client had pulled ammunition from a box that she believed contained only dummy rounds. He said he thought it was possible that someone purposely placed real bullets in the box.
“We’re afraid that could have been what happened here, that somebody intended to sabotage this set with a live round intentionally placed in a box of dummies,” Bowles said on ABC television’s Good Morning America.
“We’re not saying anybody had any intent there was going to be a tragedy of homicide,” he said, “but they wanted to do something to cause a safety incident on set. That’s what we believe happened.”
“We’re assuming somebody put the live round in that box – which if you think about that, the person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging this set,” Bowles told the Today programme on NBC.
“There’s no other reason you would do that. That you would mix that live round in with the dummy rounds.”
There have been multiple reports that the camera crew resigned the day before the shooting, in part due to safety concerns.
Asked on Today why somebody would deliberately sabotage the production, Bowles pointed to “unhappy” crew members who had walked out hours before the shooting.
“We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled,” said Bowles, pointing to on-set complaints over long working hours and hotel accommodation for crew.
“We have a timeframe between 11:00 and 1:00 approximately that day in which the firearms at times were unattended. So there was opportunity to tamper with a scene.”
Both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.