'Rust' armorer has 'no idea' where live rounds came from, attorney says
The armorer on the movie set where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer last week has "no idea" where any live ammunition came from, her lawyers said Thursday.
"Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed "is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired," a statement from her attorney said.
Halyna Hutchins, director of photography, died in the on-set shooting last week, and director Joel Souza was injured.
The circumstances of the shooting in New Mexico are under investigation, and no charges have been filed.
"Safety is Hannah's number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from," the statement from her attorneys said.
Court documents related to a search warrant say assistant director David Halls yelled "cold gun," indicating it had no live rounds, as he handed the firearm to Baldwin before the shooting.
Halls told authorities he should have checked the gun more thoroughly after noticing a difference in the ammunition rounds, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Halls did not immediately return a request for comment late Thursday.
Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, said that the guns were locked up at night and during lunch and that the armorer had sought more training on the movie.
"Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer," the statement says.
"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," it said.
Producers for the film and Rust Movies Productions LLC did not immediately return requests for comment late Thursday.
The shooting occurred at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, which is often used for Western productions.
Sources have told NBC News that the prop gun had misfired before. The attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed in Thursday’s statement referenced an "accidental discharge" of a weapon, saying that Gutierrez-Reed never had one.
"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," the statement said.
The "lead projectile" that killed Hutchins and injured Souza has been recovered, authorities said this week. It was found in Souza's shoulder.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza described what was fired as a "suspected live round."
Around 500 rounds were taken from the set as part of the investigation, including blanks, dummy rounds and what the sheriff described as suspected live rounds.
He said Wednesday "there was some complacency on this set."
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