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Entertainment: 'Rust' armorer's lawyers suggest a live bullet may have been swapped on set to 'sabotage' production

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Voices of The West/Facebook © Voices of The West/Facebook Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Voices of The West/Facebook
  • Attorney's for the "Rust" armorer someone may have tried to "sabotage" the set by putting live ammunition into a box of dummy rounds.
  • Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, the lawyer's for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, made the comments on the "Today" show.
  • Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the movie set last month, fatally shooting a cinematographer.

Attorney's for the novice armorer in charge of weapons on the movie set of "Rust" - where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer with a prop gun - suggested Wednesday that someone may have swapped out a dummy round with a live bullet to "sabotage" the production.

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Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, the lawyer's for 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, speculated during an interview on NBC's "Today" show without providing any evidence.

When asked by host Savannah Guthrie whether Gutierrez-Reed had loaded a live round into the FD Pietta long Colt .45 revolver that Baldwin fired on the New Mexico set last month - killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the director Joel Souza - Bowles said, "We don't even know that."

"There was a box of dummy rounds and the box is labeled dummy. Hannah did take from that box, which she by all accounts should have been able to rely on," Bowles said, adding, "that contains only dummy rounds."

Bowles said Gutierrez-Reed loaded the revolver with rounds "from that box" only later to find out that live ammunition had been loaded into the weapon, he said, claiming, "she had no idea" and that she had "inspected the rounds."

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  'Rust' Armorer Says Production and Team Overruled Her Push for Gun Safety, Training Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the daughter of longtime Hollywood armorer Thell Reed, said she had "no idea where the live rounds came from.""Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer," Reed's lawyer, Jason Bowles, told Variety. "She fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah.

"Now we don't know, however, whether that live round came from that box," said Bowles. "We're assuming it did. 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 that box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging this set."

Robert Gorence and Jason Bowles, the attorneys for © TODAY Robert Gorence and Jason Bowles, the attorneys for "Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. TODAY

Bowles continued, "There's no other reason you would do that - that you would mix that live round in with the dummy rounds."

Asked by Guthrie whether that's their theory, Bowles said, "We don't have a theory yet. We are investigating," but added, "That's one of the possibilities."

"I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, would want to prove a point, would want to say they're disgruntled, they're unhappy," Bowles said as he pointed to reports that camera crew members had walked off the movie set hours before the fatal October 21 shooting incident in protest of working conditions.

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  Attorneys for Rust Armorer Investigating Possibility of Sabotage by 'Disgruntled' Employee Attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed say they're investigating the possibility the Rust set could have been intentionally sabotaged by an employee who mixed a live round in with prop ammunition Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "The day Halyna died we had come off a 12 hour turnaround after an 11 hour shoot day," Davis wrote in a tweet. "We had (including camera) gotten off by 6:30 pm. We had just had a 56 hour weekend right before that.

"We know that people already walked off the set the day before," said Bowles. "And they're unhappy."

The attorney explained, "We know a couple of facts. We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn't have been there."

Bowles cited walkouts and protests by disgruntled crew who were upset about working conditions on the set as a possible motive.

"We have a time frame between 11 [a.m.] and 1 [p.m.], approximately, that day, in which the firearms at times were unattended, so there was opportunity to tamper with this scene," Bowles said.

Bowles went on to say, "I think you can't rule anybody out at this point."

The incident remains under police investigation. Authorities haven't said if sabotage is being considered in the deadly shooting incident.

Meanwhile, according to a previously released affidavit from the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, the prop gun that Baldwin used was "set up" by Gutierrez-Reed and then given to assistant director Dave Halls.

Halls had handed Baldwin the gun while inside a church building setting on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set and yelled "cold gun," indicating that it did not contain any live rounds before the incident, the documents state.

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According to another affidavit, Halls told investigators that he did not check all the rounds in the barrel of the revolver before giving it to Baldwin and that he should have.

"He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn't, and couldn't recall if" Gutierrez-Reed "spun the drum" of the gun, the documents say.

Bowles said during the Wednesday interview that Gutierrez-Reed "did spin the cyndiller" of the gun for Halls.

"She did show him each and every round in that chamber, which there were six," said Bowles. "There were six dummy rounds she believed to be in that handgun. She spun it and showed it all to Mr. Hall."

When questioned by Guthrie on whether Gutierrez-Reed should have known there was a live round in the barrel of the gun as she spun the drum, Bowles said that dummy rounds "mimic and look like a real round."

"On that scene, on that set, at that time Hannah spun it for Mr. Halls, he took the weapon and then he went into the church and thereafter provided it apparently to Mr. Baldwin," said Bowles.

Read the original article on Insider

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