The gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of “Rust” was left unattended for two hours before the fatal shooting, according to a new report.
Lawyers for the western film’s armorer said the .45 Long Colt, which was not supposed to contain live rounds, could have thus been tampered with before it was handed to actor Alec Baldwin Oct. 21, the New York Times said.
Jason Bowles, an attorney for 24-year-old movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, told the outlet the weapon was one of three on an armorer’s tray that she handed to assistant director David Halls, who then gave it Baldwin.
Robert Gorence, another attorney for Gutierrez-Reed, told the outlet that she loaded the guns with dummy rounds for an afternoon filming session, placed socks over them to prevent passersby from picking them up, and went off to lunch.
“Was there a duty to safeguard them 24/7?” Gorence said. “The answer is no, because there were no live rounds.”
The account contradicts a Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office affidavit that said Reed told investigators the gun had been locked in a safe during a lunch break prior to the fatal shooting during a rehearsal.
But in an earlier interview, the lawyers had also said that they thought the weapon may have been sabotaged by someone else.
“Somebody put that live round or live rounds in that box,” Bowles said on “Good Morning America.” “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 similar.”
“The dummy rounds looked like a regular live round,” Bowles said.
Hutchins, 42, was shot in the torso by Baldwin, who was rehearsing a scene where he pointed the gun at the camera — thinking the gun was loaded with “dummies.”
The incident also wounded director Joel Souza and prompted an investigation by local authorities, who have not filed criminal charges in the case.