Rookie Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed lawyered up after having fingers pointed at her for the accidental death of Cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. According to a search warrant executed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office last week, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the last person to have handled the gun that actor Alec Baldwin used during the rehearsal and fired shots, accidentally killing Hutchins. Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers claimed that she "is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired" on the sets of the movie Rust.
The 24-year-old former model insisted that she has "no idea" where the live ammunition came from and blamed the cost-cutting by the movie's producers for the unfortunate incident. "Safety is Hannah's number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced," Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence told NBC late Thursday, October 28.
'Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was hired on two positions on this film'
"Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from," the attorneys said, before noting that all the guns had been locked up each night. Gutierrez-Reed also noted she was understaffed, undertrained, and overruled when she tried to improve safety on the set. "Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer," her attorneys added.
Gutierrez-Reed, who was working only her second job as an armorer for Rust also had several complaints to her name during her previous project for 'mishandling weapons'. Gutierrez-Reed worked on the sets of Nicolas Cage starrer The Old Way, just two months before Rust, and got yelled at by the actor for her seemingly 'dangerous' gun handling.
The head electrician on the film set, Serge Svetnoy also claimed in a Facebook post that the producers hired an inexperienced armorer and called Gutierrez-Reed "too young to be doing her job". "There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field, " he wrote.
'Hannah Gutierrez-Reed fought for training'
"She [Hannah Gutierrez-Reed] fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department," the attorneys' statement further added. The attorneys also alleged that a "lack of safety meetings" was one of the factors due to which "the whole production set became unsafe."
Although no charges have been filed in connection with the accidental shooting yet, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies noted that "no one has been ruled out at this point." Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza informed that the investigation is currently focussed on "how the live rounds ended up on set."