While the investigation is trying to determine who may have brought live ammunition to the set, the Santa Fe County Sheriff believes that messages sent by Hannah Gutierrez Reed before the shooting are worrying about the safety of personnel on the site.
As the investigation into the circumstances of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death on the set of the film Rust in October 2021 continues, police are looking into text messages sent by the film’s armorer.
During his update on the case, the Santa Fe County sheriff mentioned text messages analyzed by the investigators “very worrying”. Adan Mendoza reports on messages sent by the film’s gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, in which the use of live ammunition is mentioned a few months before the shooting of the film. These text messages are decisive in the investigation because they could demonstrate the recurring use of live ammunition on set by said Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
The report, quoted by Los Angeles Timesindicates that the supplier would have answered him “never fire live ammunition from television or movie guns and only use blanks”. “It’s a big mistake, which always ends in tears,” he would have added. “Good to know, I’m still going to shoot mine,” would have replied the armourer.
“As of now, no one has admitted bringing live ammunition to the set. The information from the text messages is disturbing, because it talks about live ammunition that may have been used on another film set, a few months before the start of production on the film Rust. Sheriff Adan Mendoza told NBC.
In her defense, the gunsmith’s attorney, Jason Bowles, told CNN that his client wanted to try shooting the gun to understand how ancient weapons work. He also maintains that she did not use live ammunition on set.
The investigation must analyze more than 200 documents, the forensic expertise of the FBI and the report of the office of the medical investigator are still awaited. “It is difficult to determine at this time the direction that the case will take. I think there was complacency on set. There was disorganization and a degree of negligence., said Adan Mendoza. According to him, no one is yet “off the hook in terms of criminal prosecution.”