Rust armourer breaks silence, clears up 'untruths' about fatal shooting

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armourer on the set of Rust, where Alec Baldwin accidentally fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, has broken her silence, blaming producers for unsafe working conditions.

The 24-year-old, who has worked on one other feature film, says she "has no idea" where the live rounds came from.

Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed
Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed has broken her silence, aiming to clear up any 'untruths' about the accidental fatal shooting on set. Photo: Instagram/Hannah Gutierrez Reed

The statement, that was signed by her lawyers read: "First Hannah would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna. She was an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to. She also offers her thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Joel. Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired."

It continued, "She would like to address some untruths that have been told to the media, which have falsely portrayed her and slandered her. Safety is Hannah's number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced.

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"Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. 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. They were locked up every night and at lunch there's no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members.

"Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge. The first one on this set was the prop master and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks."

Alec Baldwin on Rust set
Alec Baldwin was said to be 'inconsolable for hours' after accidentally firing a live round on set. Photo: AAP
Hannah Gutierrez Reed holds a gun
Hannah, who has worked on one other feature film, says she "has no idea" where the live rounds came from. Photo: Instagram/Hannah Gutierrez Reed

The statement continued, saying Hannah had been hired for two positions on set making it "extremely difficult to focus on her job as armourer."

"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 whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. [Not] the fault of Hannah."

The statement finished by saying Hannah and her legal team will address "more of these rumours" and the whole incident in another statement next week. It was signed by Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence.

According to TMZ multiple sources linked to the production have claimed the gun was used for 'target practice' and fired at off-the-clock gatherings. It also revealed the live ammunition and blank rounds were stored in the same area.

Officials have not confirmed the claims, TMZ said.

Veteran prop master Neal W Zoromski spoke to The Los Angeles Times revealing he declined the offer to work on Rust because producers allegedly insisted one person could serve as both assistant prop master and armourer.

Zoromski says they are "two really big jobs" that can't be combined, calling the production "an accident waiting to happen".

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital where she sadly died of her injuries. Photo: Getty

The film's gaffer Serge Svetnoy said in a Facebook post: "To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job."

According to a search warrant affidavit, on the morning of the shooting, Gutierrez Reed told detectives she checked the dummy bullets, to ensure none of them were 'hot'.

When the crew broke for lunch, the guns used for filming were allegedly locked inside a safe in a large white truck where props are kept. The ammunition, however, was reportedly left unsecured on a cart.

After lunch, the film's prop master took the guns from the safe and handed them to the armourer. The three guns were set on a cart outside the church and the assistant director Dave Halls allegedly then took one from the cart and handed it to Baldwin.

Halls allegedly yelled out "cold gun", suggesting it was safe before the fatal shooting.

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