As the investigation continues into the tragic death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, an assertion has emerged that someone may have deliberately tampered with the rounds to cause the deadly accident. Late last month, Hutchins was preparing for a scene on the set with Alec Baldwin when the firearm the actor was holding had reportedly discharged a live round. Police are trying to determine how a live round got onto the set and who put it into the gun, and no criminal charges have been filed against anyone at this time.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed served as the armorer for Rust, and her attorney, Jason Bowles, has suggested that a “disgruntled” crew member might have snuck a live round into the dummy rounds. Speaking about the tragedy on Today, Bowles says there should only have been dummy rounds on that set and that his client doesn’t know where the live round came from. From his view, the attorney alleges that the most logical way for this to have happened was for someone to have done so intentionally.
“We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn’t have been there – at least one live round. 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 the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set. There’s no other reason that you would do that – that you would mix that live round in with a dummy round.”
It has been reported that hours before the fatal accident, many disgruntled camera crew members banded together to walk off the set. Jason Bowles is clearly hinting that this is no coincidence, positing that someone may have been unhappy enough to sabotage the set on the way out.
“I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove a point, want to say that they’re disgruntled, they’re unhappy. And we know that people had already walked up to set the day before, and they had been and then they’re unhappy. That is the central question to this case … how did a live round get on set, and who put that live round on the set?”
According to Bowles, the firearms had been left unattended for at least two hours in the time leading up to Halyna Hutchins’ death. The former prosecutor claims that they’re looking into the possibility of someone tampering with the rounds during this time. Also speaking in Gutierrez-Reed’s defense, Bowles argues that the cast and crew shouldn’t have been using the firearm without the armorer present. Gutierrez-Reed is said to have been outside of the set at the time, believing that they were only prepping the cameras on the set.
Bowles says they are fully cooperating with law enforcement as the investigation continues. While nobody has been charged at this point, the possibility of criminal charges hasn’t been ruled out. Search warrants have been enforced with investigators hoping to determine the origin of the live round, but it could take a while before those findings are officially announced. This news comes from Today.