The tragedy that occurred during the filming of Rust, which took the life of the film’s director of photography Halyna Hutchins, continues to resonate in the industry and, once again, opened a debate on safety on film sets and the use of real weapons. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the chief armorer on the set of the film starring and produced by Alec Baldwin, who accidentally fired the gun that killed Hutchins, denied being to blame for the cinematographer’s death.
Through a strong statement Gutierrez-Reed claimed to have been “slandered” by the media and confessed that she couldn’t concentrate on her work with firearms since she was assigned two positions on set.
“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,” says the letter and mentions Joel Souza, the film’s director who was also injured by the shooting but is now out of danger.
“Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired. Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced,” the statement issued by Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney continues.
Furthermore, she expresses confusion as to how that live ammunition got on set in the first place: “Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and [Gutierrez-Reed] never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that,” the text, which states that the armorer had never had an accidental discharge before, adds.
“The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah,” the attorney assures, and says that Gutierrez-Reed was hired for two positions in this film, which “made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer.” Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will testify in court next week.
The statement adds to a number of claims from other members of the film crew who alleged that the set wasn’t safe and pointed at the assistant director, Dave Halls, who allegedly had a history of unsafe practices while filming.