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Former ‘Rust’ camera chief says armorer lawyer’s claim of sabotage is ‘dangerous’

Associated Press/Jae C. Hong

The former camera chief on the movie set for “Rust” said the theory being pushed by the attorney for the movie’s armorer that the deadly shooting was a result of sabotage is “dangerous” and “irresponsible.”

Jason Bowles, a lawyer representing “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, said during an interview on Wednesday that he believes “somebody put the live round in that box,” referring to the box labeled “dummy” that held the bullet in the gun fired by actor Alex Baldwin.

Bowles said the individual who “put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set,” adding “there’s no other reason you would do that, that you would mix that live round with the dummy round.”

Asked by host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” if he believes the attorney’s theory, Lane Luper, the former A-camera first assistant on “Rust,” said no, calling it “dangerous” and “irresponsible.”

“If they have any evidence of that they should be, you know, talking to the sheriff and not morning television shows. It’s dangerous and it’s an irresponsible theory to put out on TV,” Luper said.

Pressed on whether he ever heard chatter on set indicating that someone would want to carry out such an act, or any inclination as to why someone would try to sabotage the set in that way, Luper said “absolutely not.”

“Because, you know, a movie sets, it’s a group of friends, you know, everybody there, you know, they deeply care for each other,” he added.

The lawyer representing the armorer aired the “sabotage” theory after Gutierrez-Reed released a statement that said she had “no idea” where the live rounds had come from.

Luper stopped working on the “Rust” set the day before cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joe Souza was injured when Baldwin fired a prop gun.

The camera chief said he left the set because of unsafe working conditions, citing the lack of safety meeting, inexperienced key personnel, and “negligent discharges” that occurred in October.

“It was one red flag after another red flag,” he said.

Investigators are currently looking into the deadly episode. No charges have been filed in connected with the case yet, but Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies previously said “all options are on the table at this point.”

Tags Alec Baldwin Chris Cuomo Lane Luper movie set safety Rust

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