‘Rust’ armorer has ‘no idea’ how live rounds got onto Alec Baldwin film set, blames producers for unsafe production

The armorer for the film production where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was recently shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin has broken her silence, insisting she is not responsible for any live rounds being 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,” read a Friday statement from Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers. 

The New Mexico production of ‘Rust’ was shut down after Baldwin, also a producer on the feature, fired a live round, striking both Hutchins and director Joel Souza. The shot was fired after the actor had been told he was being handed a “cold” weapon, a term meaning it was safe to fire. While Souza was treated and has since been released from the hospital, Hutchins died from her injuries. 

Baldwin and others have cooperated with investigators, but reports from the set have suggested a rushed and chaotic production plagued with safety issues before the shooting. This was something the production’s armorer, Gutierrez-Reed, partly confirmed through her lawyers, admitting there were two accidental discharges on set before the Hutchins incident. 

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“The first one on this set was the prop master and the second one was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks,” the statement read. 

Other reports have suggested crew members were using firearms on the set to target shoot with live rounds, something Gutierrez-Reed denied seeing. 

“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,” her lawyers said. 

Santa Fe police officials previously stated rounds gathered from the set were being tested, but it is “suspected” that more live rounds were present. 

Gutierrez-Reed suggested the blame for poor set conditions fell on the producers, claiming she was hired to perform two roles – the other was not revealed – and that safety training was recommended, but turned down by producers. 

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“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. This was not the fault of Hannah,” the armorer’s lawyers said.

Police search warrants have revealed that four people handled the weapon that was ultimately fired, including Baldwin, the assistant director, Gutierrez-Reed, and Sarah Zachry, whose name was revealed in a warrant this week. Zachry is believed to be the movie’s prop master, according to Fox News, and reportedly handled the weapon after it was potentially left unsecured during the production’s lunch break. 

Police confirmed Zachry is one of the individuals who has been interviewed and “apparently” handled the weapon.

Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and no charges have been ruled out for anyone involved.

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