The armorer on the set of the "Rust" movie has broken her silence on the fatal shooting of a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin.
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, released a statement pertaining to the deadly shooting through her New Mexico-based attorneys – Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence.
"Safety is Hannah's number one priority on set," the attorneys said. "Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from."
"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 statement said of the armorer. "The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah."
The attorneys allege that Gutierrez-Reed was hired for two positions on "Rust" – which they say "made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer." The attorneys did not specify what the second position was.
Gutierrez-Reed said through her lawyers that there were two prior firearm discharges on the set of the Western-themed movie.
"The first one on this set was the prop master and the second one was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks," her legal team said. "Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge."
Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys addressed rumors that crew members used live ammunition for target practice.
"Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns nor would she permit that," the statement says. "They were locked up every night and at lunch and there's no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members."
Gutierrez-Reed previously told authorities that "no live ammo is ever kept on set," according to a search warrant.
However, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza disputed that statement during an appearance on "Today."
"No, obviously it isn't," Mendoza said Thursday morning. "That was a live round that struck and killed Ms. Hutchins so that's not an accurate statement as far as I'm concerned."
Mendoza said that 500 rounds of ammunition — a mix of blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds — were found on the set. Over 12 revolvers and a rifle were also reportedly seized by police. Mendoza noted that the evidence taken from the set of "Rust" would be submitted to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis, according to CNBC.
"I think there's all kinds of scenarios that can play out here," Mendoza said Thursday. "We need to make a determination of who was responsible for bringing the rounds onto set and why they were there, and then ultimately who was responsible for the safety of that firearm, and up until the firing of the firearm."
Regarding potential criminal charges in the shooting death of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, "All options are on the table."
Carmack-Altwies added, "No one has been ruled out at this point."
Mendoza names Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed, and "Rust" assistant director David Halls as having handled the 1880s-style Pietta long Colt .45 revolver that Baldwin accidentally shot Hutchins and director Joel Souza at the Bonanza Creek Ranch studio while filming. Mendoza noted that all three "have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements."
Before the shooting, Halls reportedly assured everyone on the "Rust" set that the gun had blanks by shouting, "cold gun."
Halls informed investigators that he did not check all of the rounds in the firearm before handing it to Baldwin, according to an affidavit filed Wednesday.
"Gutierrez-Reed insists she had 'checked the 'dummies' and made sure there were not 'hot rounds' in the gun," Deadline reported.
Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the producers of "Rust," said that they are cooperating with authorities.
Armorer On Set Of Alec Baldwin Movie Speaks Out About Fatal Shootingwww.youtube.com