Lawyers representing the woman who loaded Alec Baldwin's gun say an act of "sabotage" by disgruntled crew members may have caused the fatal shooting on the set of Rust.
Key points:Lawyers for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed say she loaded the gun from a box of dummy roundsShe then handed the weapon to Alec Baldwin Lawyers say the ammo could have been tampered with by disgruntled crew members
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the armourer in charge of weapons on the set of the Western movie, where Mr Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after being told his firearm was safe to use.
Ms Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers told the US television program Today that she had loaded the gun with ammunition from a box of dummy, or inert, rounds and had "no idea" where the live round that killed Ms Hutchins came from.
"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 this set," Jason Bowles said.
"There's no other reason you would do that. That you would mix that live round in with the dummy rounds."
Prosecutors have refused to rule out criminal charges over the death of Ms Hutchins.
Why prop guns?
As police continue to investigate the fatal shooting of Ukrainian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin, we take a look at the use of prop firearms in film productions and the protocols in place.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has accused the film crew of "complacency" over safety.
There have been multiple reports that Rust camera crew members resigned the day before the shooting, in part due to significant safety concerns surrounding firearms and explosives on set.
Both Mr Baldwin and Ms Gutierrez-Reed are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Pressed on why somebody would deliberately sabotage the production by disguising a lethal round as safe ammunition, Mr Bowles pointed to "unhappy" crew members who had walked out hours before the shooting.
"We have people who had left the set, who had walked out because they were disgruntled," Mr Bowles said.
"We have a timeframe between 11am and 1pm that day in which the firearms at times were unattended. So there was opportunity to tamper with a scene."
When asked why Ms Gutierrez-Reed had left the firearms unattended, Mr Bowles said she had been asked by producers to shoulder additional duties as a "key props assistant," and was attending to those at the time of the shooting.
Mr Baldwin reposted a message by wardrobe assistant Terese Magpale Davis on social media this week, disputing reports of chaos and a lax attitude toward safety on the set.
"The story of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bullshit," it read.
Posted 4 Nov 20214 Nov 2021Thu 4 Nov 2021 at 8:28amShareCopy linkFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsApp