‘Rust’ armorer says she doesn’t know how live ammo got on set, according to attorneys

Hannah Gutierrez Reed was responding to “untruths that have been told to the media,” a statement released Thursday night by her attorneys to NBC News said.

“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set,” reads the statement from attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence. “Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from.”

CNN reached out to Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys and the “Rust” production office Friday morning for comment.

Two crew members from the upcoming Nicolas Cage film “The Old Way,” which Gutierrez Reed acknowledged in a podcast was her first film experience as head armorer, told CNN that they felt she had been reckless on that project.

But on “Rust,” the guns were locked up every night and at lunch, and Gutierrez Reed had no idea how the live round that killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza got on set, Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys say in their statement.

“Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that,” the statement said, according to NBC.

The investigation into the deadly “Rust” incident is large and complex, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told CNN this week, and any reports of anyone shooting live rounds with the guns has not been confirmed. No one has been charged in the case.

“We don’t know how those live rounds got there,” the district attorney said Wednesday. “And I think that will probably end up being kind of the linchpin for whether a decision is made about charges.”

Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys also blame the production for safety lapses, saying Gutierrez Reed was hired to perform two jobs on the film and could not strictly focus on her duties as armorer.

“She fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department,” the statement reads.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday that his department has follow-up questions for Gutierrez Reed.

“I think that statement actually brings forth more questions than it answers,” Mendoza said.

Pressed by Lemon, the sheriff said, “She stated that safety is a priority. We’d like to know what steps she was taking to make sure that the set was safe.”

Mendoza said he also has questions for Gutierrez Reed about the presence of live rounds on the set.

“She said she was not aware of the live rounds on set. So we would like to have a clear picture of what the protocols were, what the processes were, and how she was maintaining safety there,” he added

Mendoza also noted that speaking to Gutierrez Reed would help investigators clarify any contradictions between her newly released statement and the account she gave authorities following the shooting if there are any, adding that his department is comparing both accounts.

Asked whether investigators are close to identifying what happened, Mendoza said: “We’re getting closer, but we have a long ways to go.”

An inventory list released Friday morning from a search warrant conducted on a prop truck on the New Mexico set of “Rust” states that one replica firearm, 12 revolvers, one rifle, ammunition and photographs were seized. The list also includes a spent blank round and an empty box of ammunition.

The search warrant was executed on Wednesday, according to the document.

A law enforcement official close to the investigation told CNN that investigators are unsure whether the ammunition included live rounds.

The official said the ammunition is being sent to the FBI for analysis.

Investigators have yet to receive an indication from Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys that she will agree to a follow-up interview, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation. Since the time she retained counsel, detectives have been communicating with her attorneys, the source said.

The source also noted that investigators have been in direct contact with Baldwin, who has willingly spoken with detectives when they have phoned him with follow-up questions.

This story has been updated to clarify Gutierrez Reed’s work on “The Old Way” was her first film as head armorer. It has also been updated to reflect her full last name, per her attorneys.

CNN’s Josh Campbell, Sara Weisfeldt and Kay Jones contributed to this report.

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