‘Rust’ armorer has ‘no idea’ how live rounds got on set, attorneys say – WFTV

‘Rust’ armorer has ‘no idea’ how live rounds got on set, attorneys say – WFTV

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From our friends at: www.wftv.com

SANTA FE, N.M. — Attorneys for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have released a statement more than a week after a cinematographer was killed and a director was wounded in a shooting on the film’s set.

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According to NBC News and Deadline, attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence said late Thursday that Gutierrez-Reed had “no idea” how live rounds got onto the set Oct. 21, when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died and director Joel Souza was hurt in a shooting involving actor Alec Baldwin.

“First, Hannah would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna,” their statement began. “She was an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to. She also offers her thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Joel. Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired.”

The statement went on to say that Gutierrez-Reed “would like to address some untruths that have been told to the media, which have falsely portrayed her and slandered her.”

“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set,” the statement continued. “Ultimately, this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns, and she never witnesses anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that. They were locked up every night and at lunch, and there’s no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members. Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge. The first one on this set was the prop master, and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks.”

>> Alec Baldwin shooting: Lead bullet among 500 rounds of ammunition recovered from ‘Rust’ set

Bowles and Gorence added that Gutierrez-Reed was hired for two positions on the “Rust” set, “which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as armorer.”

“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 statement read. “The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings.”

>> Alec Baldwin shooting: Actor was rehearsing pointing gun at camera, according to affidavit

The lawyers, who said Gutierrez-Reed was not to blame for any unsafe conditions on the set, said they and their client plan to release another statement next week.

The statement came just days after authorities in Santa Fe County said investigators recovered three guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the set following the fatal shooting, which occurred as Baldwin was practicing pointing a gun at the camera lens, according to The Associated Press and USA Today. The gun discharged, striking Hutchins in the chest and Souza, who was standing behind Hutchins, in the shoulder, KOAT reported.

Court records obtained by the AP, the Times and KOAT show that assistant director Dave Halls took the gun off a cart and said it was a “cold gun,” meaning that it had no live rounds in it, before Baldwin began rehearsing the scene.

>> Alec Baldwin didn’t know gun contained live rounds before fatal shooting: warrant

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adnan Mendoza said Wednesday that authorities have since recovered the lead projectile fired from the gun from Souza’s shoulder.

“We’ll send the firearm that was fired by Mr. Baldwin to the crime lab and do a functionality test,” Mendoza said, adding that there was “other ammunition” in the gun, as well. “Obviously, it did fire a live round.”

Investigators recovered about 500 rounds of ammunition from the movie set, which Mendoza described as a “mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we suspect are live rounds.” He declined to speculate about how the suspected live rounds got onto the set.

“This investigation is active, so I won’t comment on how they got there, but we suspect that they are there,” the sheriff said. “That will be determined when testing is done by the crime lab in reference to whether or not they are officially live rounds or not.”

>> Alec Baldwin shooting: ‘Rust’ assistant director fired after 2019 on-set gun mishap

Reports have surfaced claiming that the gun fired by Baldwin had earlier been used for target practice with live bullets. Mendoza said deputies were investigating the reports.

Authorities added that the people who handled the gun before the deadly shooting, identified as Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed and Halls, are cooperating with investigators.

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