‘Devastated’ ‘Rust’ Armorer Slams ‘Unsafe’ Production In First Statement Since Fatal Shooting

29October 2021

One week after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is speaking out through her attorneys.

“First Hannah would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna,” her statement read, which also noted director Joel Souza’s hospitalization. “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.”

However, she did want to address “some untruths” that have circulated, which she noted “have falsely portrayed her and slandered her.” In the statement, her attorneys noted “safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. 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,” the message continued. “They were locked up every night and at lunch and there’s no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members.”

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According to the statement, the 24-year-old was filling two positions on set, which “made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an 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 whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings.”

At a news conference earlier this week, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said Gutierrez-Reed and Assistant Director David Halls both “handled and/or inspected the loaded firearm prior to Baldwin firing the weapon” which ultimately shot Hutchins and Souza, who was released from the hospital soon following his injury.

A recent search warrant affidavit obtained by E! News stated that Gutierrez-Reed told police that she’d “checked the ‘dummies’ and ensured they were not ‘hot’ rounds” on the set of “Rust.”

The film’s production company, Rust Movies Productions LLC, and other producers, which included Baldwin, have not commented in response to her recent statement. Last week, the group said in its own statement, “Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down.”

“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company,” the company said. “We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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