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Attorney For ‘Rust’ Armorer Believes She Was ‘Framed’ And Suggests ‘Sabotage’ On The Set
The question of how a live round got into a gun fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of "Rust," killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, remains the central issue of the investigation.
An attorney for the armorer on the “Rust” film set said he believes she was “framed” and suggested “sabotage” may have led to the deadly shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Jason Bowles, the attorney for armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, released a statement Wednesday to Oxygen.com, saying that Reed has continued to cooperate with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and just provided a “full interview” to investigators.
“We eagerly await the FBI’s investigation as well and we are asking for a full and complete investigation of all of the facts, including the live rounds themselves, how they ended up in the ‘dummies’ box, and who put them in there,” Bowles said. “We are convinced that this was sabotage and Hannah is being framed.”
Bowles went on to say that they “believe the scene was tampered with as well before the police arrived,” but provided no additional details about what may have led them to reach that conclusion.
“The truth finding process demands that the District Attorney and FBI run down all of the evidence, including the nature of those live rounds,” Bowles added.
Hutchins was killed on October 21 when actor Alec Baldwin discharged an antique revolver on the set of the film while rehearsing what authorities have described as a cross draw, where he pulled the weapon out and pointed it at the camera, according to a search warrant in the case obtained by Oxygen.com.
The bullet struck Hutchins in the chest and then lodged into the shoulder of director Joel Souza, who had been standing behind her to try to help set up the shot.
Investigators are now trying to determine how a live round got into the prop gun.
Bowles first brought up the idea of sabotage earlier this month when he appeared on “Good Morning America” to discuss the fatal shooting, according to ABC News.
“We’re afraid that could have been what happened here, that somebody intended to sabotage this set with a live round intentionally place in a box of dummies,” he said.
Yet, in her own appearance on ABC News, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appeared to shoot down that theory.
“I know that some defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and have used the word ‘sabotage.’ We do not have any proof,” she told the outlet.
When Carmack-Altwies was pressed further about whether she thought sabotage could be a possibility, she said no.
“Prosecutors have to deal in facts and in evidence,” she said.
She said investigators are still trying to determine how the live rounds got into the gun and said the investigation could take months.
“We still don’t know how they got on the set,” she said. “And how they got there I think will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision.”
Authorities are focusing on what happened in the hours and minutes before the shooting as they piece together how the tragedy occurred.
“It’s probably more important to focus on what led up to the shooting,” Carmack-Altwies said. “Because the moment of the shooting we know that at least Mr. Baldwin had no idea that the gun was loaded. So, it’s more how did that gun get loaded? What levels of failure happened? And were those levels of failure criminal?”
In a press conference last month, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said investigators had learned that the weapon had been “handled or inspected” by Reed and Assistant Director David Halls “prior to Baldwin firing the weapon.”
In an interview with Fox News, Halls’ attorney Lisa Torraco has disputed investigators' claims that Halls grabbed one of three prop guns off a cart and delivered it to Baldwin before the fatal shooting.
"This idea my client grabbed the gun and handed it to Baldwin absolutely did not happen," she said, but later backtracked on the claim and said she “doesn’t know” whether he handed the gun off.
Reed’s attorneys insisted in an earlier statement to Oxygen.com that the 24-year-old “did everything in her power to ensure a safe set” and said she “inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms” the day of the shooting.
“She did it again right before handing the firearm to Mr. Halls, by spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm,” Bowles said. “No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set.”