As the investigation into the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust continues, the attorney for the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is now suggesting that a disgruntled employee deliberately sabotaged the gun used by Alec Baldwin. Jason Bowles made the morning talk show rounds on Wednesday where he attempted to seed a theory that someone slipped live ammunition into the film’s props without Gutierrez-Reed’s knowledge. Here’s what he told TODAY via The Daily Beast:
“We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn’t have been there,” Bowles added. “We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled. We have a time frame between 11 and 1 approximately, that day, in which the firearms at times were unattended, so there was opportunity to tamper with this scene.”
Ammunition was kept in a prop truck on set, according to Gutierrez-Reed’s second attorney Robert Gorence, who said the vehicle was “completely unattended at all times, giving someone access and opportunity.”
According to Mediaite, Bowles repeated the claim on Good Morning America, but he also took the extra step of highlighting the fact that Assistant Director Dave Halls was the last person to touch the gun before it was handed to Baldwin, and then Bowles said this:
Somebody put that live round or live rounds in that box. When you do that, you can only have bad intentions because you’re going to confuse the rounds if you’re the armorer and they appear very similarly. The dummy rounds look like a regular live round…We’re afraid that could have been what happened here, that somebody intended to sabotage this set with a live round intentionally placed in a box of dummies.
Adding an interesting wrinkle to this new narrative is the fact that Baldwin has begun pushing back against numerous reports, and remarks by the Sheriff’s department, that the Rust set was “unsafe.” Baldwin recently retweeted a Facebook post that called the growing reports of a dangerous work environment “bullsh*t.”