‘Rust’ armorer’s lawyer claims sabotage a possible motive behind tragedy

Thell Reed, the father of Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, expressed during a recent interview that he felt sabotage might be to blame after a loaded gun killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joe Souza on a Santa Fe set.

Authorities investigating the tragedy have not endorsed the Gutierrez-Reed camp’s theory, and no evidence currently available to the public substantiates the claim.

The event occurred on Oct. 21 after the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, discharged the weapon while rehearsing on set, ultimately hitting Hutchins and Souza. Since the fatal accident, there has been an ongoing investigation in which sheriffs are trying to figure out why there was live ammunition in Baldwin’s gun.

Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney who attended the Good Morning America interview along with her father, told the outlet, “Sabotage is the most likely possibility, probability. Somebody wanted to cause a safety incident on set. Nobody wanted anybody to be killed.”

Bowles added, “We developed evidence of motive for that — why they might’ve wanted to do that, why Hannah might’ve been a target — and that’s all gone to the sheriff, and we’re asking for that to be completed before any decisions are made on charging.”

Reed also shared that while his daughter was working on the set on that tragic day, she didn’t give the gun directly to Baldwin because she assisted with prop duties. But, he said, “She would have re-checked that gun, and if there was a live round in there, she would have caught it.”

The sharpshooter continued by defending his daughter’s training and her experience as an armorer “She has been raised around gun safety since she was a little girl. She doesn’t need more training. She has got me.”

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney claimed that the 24-year-old had “spun the cylinder” before handing it to Rust‘s assistant director Dave Halls. He also stated that in addition to checking the weapon, his client showed Halls all “six rounds” before giving the gun to him. 

Bowles reiterated his belief that sabotage is likely the possibility because he believes someone may have malignantly set “a live round intentionally in place of a box of dummies.” 

Authorities have not pressed any criminal charges related to the Rust tragedy at this time.