In the latest update to the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust—which occurred after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop weapon he was told by the production’s assistant director was safe to use, according to court documents—we’re now hearing from the attorneys of the film’s armorer.
The incident, which occurred in New Mexico, is currently still being investigated by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department.
According to Deadline, the attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said in a recent interview they’re looking into whether a live bullet was placed in a box of dummy rounds for the purpose of “sabotaging the set.”
In the ongoing investigation, the sheriff’s department reportedly collected 500 rounds of bullets which were a mix of dummies, blanks, and what was thought to be live rounds.
“I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove a point, want to say that they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy,” said Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles. “And we know that people had walked off the set the day before.”
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Bowles added that he thinks “you can’t rule anybody out at this point.”
Bowles went on to explain that they now know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds “that shouldn’t have been there.”
“We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled. We have a time frame between 11 [am] and 1 [pm], 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, also mentioned that the truck “was completely unattended at all times, giving someone access and opportunity.” This follows from a report last week that authorities found at least one live .45 caliber round in the prop truck of the Rust set.
The incident also non-fatally injured director Joel Souza.
The production of Rust has been halted indefinitely.