The armorer who was on the New Mexico set of the movie “Rust” when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after being struck by a gunshot last year is blasting the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office for what she sees as a faulty investigation.
On Thursday, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed didn’t measure any words when calling into question investigators’ handling of the October 2021 tragedy, accusing New Mexico authorities of knowingly mishandling the case from the beginning of the investigation.
“The primary question in this case from the beginning has been ‘where did the live rounds that ended upon the Rust set come from?’ ” Gutierrez-Reed said in a statement shared with the Daily News through her lawyer, Jason Bowles.
Gutierrez-Reed loaded the Colt .45 revolver Baldwin, 64, was handling when he was preparing for a scene. The firearm discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Baldwin, who was also one of the film’s producers, has maintained that he was told the gun was “cold” and not loaded with live ammunition.
He has also said that he didn’t pull the trigger.
“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,” she wrote.
“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,” she added. “We have long sought this answer and will not give up in pursuing the truth to find it.”
Last week, the Office of the Medical Investigator in New Mexico found “no compelling demonstration” that someone purposefully loaded the gun with live ammunition, adding that there wasn’t “obvious intent to cause harm or death.”
Earlier this month, FBI investigators found that the gun “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.”