The armorer in charge of the guns on the set of the Western “Rust” has spoken out via her lawyers for the first time about the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed last week when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun containing live rounds. In her statement (shared with Variety and shown in full below), armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed offered her sympathies to Hutchins’ family, and said she had “no idea where the live rounds came from” that resulted in Hutchins’ death and director Joel Souza’s injury.
Gutierrez Reed also said that she was hired for two positions on the movie, which made her ill-prepared to do either job properly, and met friction among her production team as well as her department.
Authorities believe a lead bullet removed by doctors from Souza’s shoulder is the same bullet that struck and killed Hutchins, and was fired out of the gun shot by Baldwin on the New Mexico set last Thursday. The bullet in question — along with 500 blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds — are among the chief pieces of evidence collected by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department as part of a continuing investigation. No charges have been filed yet.
Read Hannah Gutierrez Reed’s statement below. She is represented by Robert Gorence.
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.
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. 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 and 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.
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.
Hannah and her legal team will address more of these rumors and the whole incident in an upcoming statement next week.