Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is speaking out once again in regard to the fatal Rust shooting. Through her lawyer, Jason Bowles, the “Rust” armourer told ET in a statement that she has “long sought this answer and will not give up in pursuing the truth to find it.”
During the October on-set incident, Alec Baldwin held the gun that discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
“The primary question in this case from the beginning has been where did the live rounds that ended up on the Rust set come from?” the statement read, before claiming that “the Sheriff’s office made a conscious decision not to pursue this question at all by refusing to ask the FBI to test any of the rounds for fingerprints or DNA.”
In addition to the statement, Guitierrez-Reed’s attorney provided emails that he says were between him and Detective Alexandria Hancock of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
In the emails, Bowles questioned why the FBI didn’t pursue DNA testing on the rounds, he claims Hancock replied that “given the fact the items were from movie sets, which had been handled over and over and over, it didn’t make sense” to do so.
Bowles asked follow-up questions in subsequent emails, though he claims Hancock wrote back “we are done with testing at this time.”
“I’ve never heard of an agency declining to pursue DNA evidence on the possible murder instrument or weapon,” Bowles wrote in the final email he provided to ET. “I urge you to reconsider this. This will be a very significant issue at trial, if we get there.”
Guitierrez-Reed’s statement concluded, “We now know for certain there were live rounds on set. It is inconceivable that the Sheriff would not seek answers to this fundamental question and it raises a serious problem with the entire investigation.”
Guitierrez-Reed’s most recent statement came the same week that the FBI released its forensic report into the fatal incident. In the report, which ET obtained, the FBI concluded after testing that the gun used in the shooting couldn’t have gone off without the trigger being pulled. Meanwhile, a postmortem report obtained by ABC News classified Hutchins’ death as an accident. Baldwin has denied pulling the trigger.
“The critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident. This is the third time the New Mexico authorities have found that Alec Baldwin had no authority or knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions on the set, that he was told by the person in charge of safety on the set that the gun was ‘cold,’ and believed the gun was safe,” Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, told ET in a statement after the report was released. “The FBI report is being misconstrued. The gun fired in testing only one time –without having to pull the trigger — when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places. The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”
Meanwhile, in a statement to ET, Guitierrez-Reed, through her attorney, said in part, “These new filings demonstrate various production members’ attempts from the very beginning to shirk responsibility and scapegoat Hannah, a 24-year-old armourer, for this tragedy.”
“Hannah was tasked with doing two jobs including props assistant and the very important job as armourer but not given adequate time and training days to do so despite repeated requests or the respect required of the armourer’s position and responsibilities,” her statement read. “This included Baldwin in particular who ignored Hannah’s requests to do specific cross draw training which would include never having his finger on the trigger during the cross draw and never pointing the weapon at anyone.”
ET has reached out to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office for a statement.
Baldwin also spoke out on The Chris Cuomo Project and offered an explanation for how the gun could’ve fired without the trigger being pulled. The interview was filmed ahead of the report’s release, but made available online after the FBI’s findings were made public.
“If you pull the hammer back, and you don’t lock the hammer; if you pull the hammer back pretty far — in old Western movies you’d see someone fan the hammer of the gun — the hammer didn’t lock; you pulled it back to an extent where it would fire the bullet without you pulling the trigger, without you locking the hammer,” he said. “The man who’s the principal safety officer on the set of the film declared that the gun was safe when he handed it to me… He explained it to me, effectively, exactly what can happen if you pull the hammer back and let it go if there’s a live round. See, there’s only one question to ask here — who put a live round in the gun? That’s it. There is no other question to ask.”
The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico has not filed any charges in Hutchins’ death. The Sheriff’s Office said detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department in New York are actively assisting its office and the D.A.’s Office in obtaining, processing, and disclosing Baldwin’s phone records. Once those and other reports are reviewed, the final Sheriff’s Office investigative case file will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review and final charging decisions.
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