The armourer for the film Rust, which suffered a tragedy last week when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot during a scene rehearsal, has said that she has “no idea” where the live round came from.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was responsible for weapons on the Santa Fe, New Mexico set, said in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly by her lawyers that there are “untruths that have been told to the media”.
The statement from Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence said: “Safety is Hannah’s No. 1 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.”
Authorities have said that Alec Baldwin fired the live round that hit Hutchins on October 22. Official court documents have stated that assistant director Dave Halls unwittingly handed Balwin the gun, indicating that it was safe by shouting “cold gun!” (via BBC).
Rust director Joel Souza was also wounded during the incident and was discharged from hospital that same week. He’s since given his account of what happened.
According to information provided to authorities by Souza, as cited in affidavits obtained by EW, Halls “did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun” when he said “cold gun”. The rehearsal then involved Baldwin “cross drawing his weapon and pointing the revolver towards the camera lens.” The gun fired, striking Hutchins and Souza.
Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers’ statement continued: “Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, 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. This was not the fault of Hannah.”
The armourer and her legal team said they would address “more of these rumours and the whole incident” in a further statement.
They also said Gutierrez-Reed “would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna”, calling the late cinematographer “an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to”.
NME has reached out to a number of production companies listed on IMDB as being involved in the making of Rust, including Thomasville Pictures, Cavalry Media and El Dorado Pictures, for a response to Gutierrez-Reed’s claims.
Elsewhere, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies held a press conference on Wednesday (October 27) in which they confirmed that Baldwin was handed a gun containing a live round. Mendoza also confirmed that a “lead projectile” had been recovered from Souza’s shoulder, which is believed to have been what caused the death of Hutchins.
Mendoza and Carmack-Altwies also said authorities recovered 500 rounds of ammunition (including a mix of blanks and possible live rounds) and three firearms, including the one discharged by Baldwin, from the set.
Mendoza and Carmack-Altwies added that the investigation is ongoing and “all options are on the table” with regards to possible charges being filed. No charged have been filed.
Baldwin, meanwhile, has spoken in public for the first time about the incident. He said it was “a one in a trillion episode” and paid tribute to “my friend” Hutchins.
The actor added that he’s been speaking regularly with Hutchins’ “mortified” husband and son. “The guy is overwhelmed with grief,” he said of her husband.
“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion event. He is in shock, he has a nine-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him because we are very worried about him and his family” [via Sky News].