Laywers for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, in a letter to District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, have accused Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza of implying that Gutierrez Reed brought or fired live ammo on a previous movie set.
The letter, obtained by Fox News Digital, requested that Carmack-Altwies speak with Mendoza about correcting his statements.
Mendoza made the statements during an interview on the “Today” show after the sheriff’s department had released tons of bodycam footage, photos and text messages pertaining to the “Rust” shooting investigation. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of “Rust” after a gun actor Alec Baldwin had been holding discharged.
"Rust" armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed accused Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza of making false claims implying she brought or fired live ammo on a previous movie set.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong | instagram)
“There was text messages with information that was concerning based on the fact that live ammo was spoken about and was possibly used on a prior movie set. But that was just a few months before the ‘Rust’ movie set production began and so that is concerning,” Mendoza explained during the interview.
The lawyers for Gutierrez Reed claimed the statements made by Mendoza “led segments of the public and press to falsely conclude that Hannah may have brought live rounds on the set of ‘The Old Way,’ and by completely unsupported extension, to the set of ‘Rust’ also.”
Text messages – released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office – exchanged between Gutierrez Reed and supplier Seth Kenney did discuss live ammo.
However, the lawyers believe that Mendoza, without evidence, claimed that based on the text messages exchanged that live rounds may have been fired by Gutierrez Reed on the previous film set.
“This was recklessly false, and there is no evidence to support this misstatement,” the letter reads.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of "Rust" after a gun held by Alec Baldwin discharged.
(Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP)
In the specific text messages, Gutierrez Reed had asked Kenney if she could fire live rounds through a “trapdoor,” referencing the historical gun – a Springfield Trapdoor. Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers emphasized the armorer wanted to fire the gun after hours and not on set, but Kenney advised against firing live rounds through a weapon used as a prop.
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers claim the armorer listened.
“She never fired a live round through the Trapdoor,” the letter read. “Hannah has never brought live rounds on any movie set nor has she ever fired any live rounds on any set on which she worked, including the ‘Rust’ set.”
Representatives for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office had no comment. The District Attorney’s Office said they would not be commenting at this time. Sheriff Mendoza did not respond to Fox News Digital’s immediate request for comment.
Mendoza explained during the “Today” show interview that the release of the footage and documents was part of a public records request, but explained that it was also an attempt to be “transparent.”
Alec Baldwin has claimed he did not pull the trigger of the gun he was holding when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of "Rust."
(Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images)
“Well, I think the main point is that it was a public records request that we are required to release the information, but it was also an attempt to be transparent in the investigation,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said it took the department “some time” to get the “tremendous amount of information” ready to be released.
“We tried to release it as soon as we had everything together, and we had an avenue to release the information.”
Lauryn Overhultz is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital.