Sabotage could be behind ‘Rust’ movie shooting, lawyer says


Halyna Hutchins, seen here during production of the 2020 film “Archenemy,” is being mourned by family and friends after a fatal accident on the set of “Rust.” (Jack Caswell via AP)

(NewsNation Now) — Attorneys representing the armorer from the movie “Rust” suggested Wednesday that someone may have put a live round in the set’s dummy round stash to intentionally “sabotage” the set.

Jason Bowles said in a statement to NewsNation that his client, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, “was incredibly safety conscious and took her job very seriously.”

Production for the western film began Oct. 4 and Bowles says his client was well trained alongside actors. He says no one could have anticipated the tragedy.

She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person. Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the “dummy” Round box. Who put those in there and why is the central question. Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question, and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break. Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set.

Attorney Jason Bowles

Gutierrez-Reed was serving two roles on the film — the armorer and an assistant props specialist.

Bowles has cited tension on the set in the days before the shooting in his claim. Some members of the crew walked out to protest long days hours before the shooting happened. The handguns were unattended between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. the day of the shooting, according to Bowles. 

Police have said Alec Baldwin was told by assistant director Dave Halls that the gun was “cold,” meaning it was safe to use.

Bowles said Gutierrez had checked the gun before giving it to Halls. She spun the cylinder and showed Halls each of the rounds, which she believed were six dummy rounds, he said. Halls then took the gun into the church where Baldwin was rehearsing a scene.

On Oct. 21, Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

So far, no charges have been filed in the shooting.

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