It has now been more than one week since cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was tragically killed on the New Mexico set of the new Western Rust, when she was fatally shot and killed by a bullet from a gun fired by Alec Baldwin. While authorities continue their investigation into the incident, new details have emerged about the circumstances surrounding the production. One of the names that keeps popping up is that of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the set armorer, who was in charge of overseeing the production’s weaponry.
In the litany of claims that have been leveled against the production, which was reportedly plagued by complaints of poor working conditions and more than one accidental gun discharge, Gutierrez-Reed’s lack of experience has been a major point of contention. She had worked as an armorer only once before, on the upcoming Nicolas Cage movie The Old Way, and according to some accounts was once reportedly chastised by the actor due partly to her inexperience. But now Gutierrez-Reed is finally speaking out.
As The Wrap reports, Gutierrez-Reed issued a statement via her attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, in which they claim she had no knowledge of how a live round ended up in the gun. The 24-year-old is “devastated” by the incident, according to the statement, as Hutchins was “an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to.” She issued the statement in order to set the record straight as far as her own culpability goes, to “address some untruths that have been told to the media,” and to make it clear that the responsibility for this tragedy lies with the film’s producers.
“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set,” according to the statement. “Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from.” It also stated that she “never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that.”
Gutierrez-Reed’s statement reasserts claims from others involved with the film there was an overarching complacency toward safety issues on the Rust set. The Wrap writes that:
“Hannah was hired on two positions for this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer.” Gutierrez-Reed also asserts that she “fought” for gun safety and maintenance training and for “proper time to prepare for gunfire,” requests that were “overruled by production and her department.”
Gutierrez-Reed and her lawyers will be addressing the incident further next week.
Statement from Hannah Gutierrez Reid- Armorer on the Rust set. pic.twitter.com/S0CH5mVQgG
— yasminvossoughian (@yasminv) October 29, 2021
(Via The Wrap)