ALBUQUERQUE, NM – “Rust” armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed’s legal team pushes back against concerns about her level of experience while questioning how – and why – real ammunition got into Alec Baldwin’s film.
“Never in a million years has Hannah thought that life circles could be in the‘ fake ’round box,” one of her lawyers, Jason Bowles, said in a statement shared with Fox News on Thursday. “Who put those in there and why is the central question.”
The remarks come because sources close to the set raise concerns about Gutierrez Reed’s experience and maturity, and because details in Santa Fe search warrants suggest a breach with established gun safety protocols.
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All guns on the set, whether they are real, copies, loaded or empty, must be treated as if they were loaded with real ammunition, according to safety recommendations of the Contract Service Administration Firms Fund and International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE).
The union also notes that “whites can kill” and weapons should never be aimed at another person.
“Hannah was incredibly safety conscious and took her job very seriously from the moment she started on Oct. 4,” Bowles said. “She did gun training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized never pointing a gun at a person.”
Bowles also said Gutierrez Reed kept the guns locked up or under the eye of subordinates.
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“Hannah has done everything in her power to ensure a safe set,” he said.
During a rehearsal on October 21, Deputy Director David Halls allegedly gave Baldwin a loaded .45 revolver, telling him it was “cold,” or safe.
Before that, Gutierrez Reed turned the cylinder over to show Halls what was in the gun, her lawyer said.
“She inspected the shots she loaded into the guns that day,” Bowles said. “She always inspected the shots. She did it again just before handing over the gun to Mr. Halls, turning the cylinder and showing him all the shots and then giving him the gun.”
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During the rehearsal, which involved a cross-pull of a revolver and aiming it at the camera, a shot rang out – thundering on set and tearing through the torso of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins before slapping into the shoulder of director Joel Souza. They were rushed to hospitals, where she died.
“No one could have predicted or thought that anyone would introduce life circles into this set,” Bowles said.
During an interview with NBC’s “Today” earlier this week, he and Robert Gorence, another Gutierrez Reed lawyer, said they are investigating the possibility that someone sabotaged the set by planting real bullets in containers of fake ammunition that looks realistic. but. does not work. The lawyers stopped before making any legitimate accusation against anyone, calling the idea of intentional sabotage just one of many labor theories they are investigating.
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Last week, Santa Fe sheriff Adan Mendoza said authorities discovered a mixture of imitation circles, blanks and real bullets from the set.