Lawyers for Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the 24-year-old armourer at the centre of the investigation into the tragedy on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust, are now claiming their client was the victim of sabotage, and that the accident was ultimately the fault of someone else.

Her lawyers have suggested that someone intentionally smuggled live rounds of ammunition into a box of dummy rounds before the fatal on-set shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Lawyer Jason Bowles made the suggestion while appearing on numerous morning news programs on Wednesday morning.

On Good Morning America, he asked, “Why do you place that in the box labeled ‘dummies’ that the armorer is going to be pulling from? Why would you do that other than to try to cause some incident on the set?

“Now, we’re not saying anybody had any intent there was going to be a tragedy — a homicide — but they wanted to do something to cause a safety incident on set. That’s what we believe happened.”

When GMA anchor Michael Strahan pressed him for evidence to support this serious allegation, Bowles simply asserted that his client did not place the live round that was ultimately responsible for Hutchins’ death in the ammunition box.

“We know the live rounds shouldn’t have been in that box, but they were,” he said. “So there can be very, very few explanations for why live rounds end up in a box of dummy prop ammunition on a movie set. And one of them is that somebody wants that to go into a firearm and then wants there to be an incident on the set. There’s no other reason to mix a live round with the dummies. There’s just none.”

After presenting the same argument on Today and being asked by host Savannah Guthrie why anyone would “have the motive and opportunity” to sabotage the ammunition in this way, Bowles said, “I believe that somebody who would do that would want to … prove a point, want to say that they’re disgruntled.

“And we know that people had already walked off the set the day before. … And the reason they were unhappy is they’re working 12- to 14-hour days. They were not given hotel rooms in and around the area. So they had to drive back and forth an hour to Albuquerque, and they’re unhappy.”

This is a reference to the fact that the camera crew had staged a walkout before the incident, fed up with unreasonable working conditions and amidst a push within Hollywood to improve working conditions for film and television crews.

Guthrie then asked Bowles if he was accusing the crew members who had walked out of planting the live ammunition, to which he said, “You can’t rule anybody out at this point. We know there was a live round in a box of dummy rounds that shouldn’t have been there… there was opportunity to tamper with the scene. And yes, we’re looking at that possibility.”

Image: Instagram

This article first appeared on Over60.