The shooting on the set of the movie Rust has been making headlines for over a year, yet we still have a lot of questions.
What we do know is that actor and anti-gun activist Alec Baldwin was the one who pulled the trigger that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
Yet what we don’t know is how a live round ended up in the gun, to say nothing of a number of other questions.
Initially, Baldwin was just one of the people charged. An assistant director has already pled guilty and now, with charges against Baldwin dropped, the heat is on armorer Hannah Guitierrez-Reed.
Yet should it be? It seems Gutierrez-Reed claims that she didn’t get the chance to train Baldwin sufficiently.
In the latest development in the “Rust” case, special prosecutors are trying to determine why Hannah Gutierrez-Reed might have been denied additional gun training and how the “motive” for that decision might play a factor in her criminal case.
‘Rust’ Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Claims She Was Denied Additional Gun Training For Alec Baldwin
On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, The Blast received new court documents filed by the state of New Mexico over a protective order and a subpoena. The court documents state that “Baldwin was a producer on the show and heavily involved in the development of the script and other aspects of the film, and was personally involved in firearms training provided by Ms. Gutierrez.” Although the court documents refer to Baldwin as a producer on “the show” it is clear that they are talking about his involvement in the Western film, directed and written by Joel Souza.
In the court filing, it goes on to say that, “Ms. Gutierrez alleges she made requests for additional armorer days and for additional time to provide gun handling training to Mr. Baldwin,” meaning that the “Rust” armorer had requested additional days to train Alec Baldwin on how to handle a firearm and was denied. “Ms. Gutierrez asserts that it is her belief these requests were denied for financial/budgetary reasons,” the document adds.
The state of New Mexico says that it “should be permitted to explore” if Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s requests for additional firearm training were “denied due to financial considerations” and “not due to safety or other reasonable considerations.” The State claims that the “motives” at play in the decision to deny the armorer training time are important to her criminal case as it determines how it may have affected the armorer’s ability to perform her job.
Additionally, Baldwin’s contracts as a producer may have given him a percentage of any profits the film made, thus creating a financial incentive for him to minimize expenses, potentially even when it might have created an unsafe environment.
It’s important to remember that Guitierrez-Reed is a second-generation Hollywood armorer. While this was her first film, her father is Thell Reed, a legendary armorer. It’s not difficult to imagine that she tried to do the right thing and was stymied by the influential Baldwin.
I’m not saying that’s what happened, mind you. Since the first-time armorer is facing criminal charges, it makes sense to try and throw as much blame on other people as humanly possible, even if just to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.
Yet if she’s telling the truth here and it was for budgetary reasons, then at least some blame has to rest on those in charge of the shoot. That includes producers such as Baldwin.
Since prosecutors previously reserved the right to re-file charges against Baldwin, this could well create more legal problems for the 30 Rock star.
It’ll also throw another wrench in his anti-gun activism.