Arizona armorer to be charged with involuntary manslaughter alongside Alec Baldwin in “Rust” movie death

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:11 PM MST
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BULLHEAD CITY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The weapons specialist on the “Rust” movie set is from Arizona and will also be charged with involuntary manslaughter alongside actor Alec Baldwin. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is from Bullhead City, and it was her job to maintain and manage the prop guns. Her legal team is fighting this and has already filed a lawsuit against the company that supplied the ammunition, claiming they are at fault for the kind of ammunition they sold. “I’m the armorer. Or at least I was,” said Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in the back of a police car right after the 2021 accidental fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the movie set. “They didn’t mean to do it. They didn’t have the intent to kill, but it happened anyway,” said Santa Fe district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

Carmack-Altwies called the filming environment a “fast and loose set” and said multiple people didn’t do their jobs, even if it was an accident. “There was such a lack of safety and safety standards on that set, that there were live rounds on set. They were mixed in with regular dummy rounds. Nobody was checking those or at least they weren’t checking them consistently,” said Carmack-Altwies.

Baldwin blamed Gutierrez-Reed for the tragedy, but her legal team said Seth Kenney is at fault. He owns PDQ Arm and Prop LLC, the company that provided the movie set ammunition. According to a lawsuit Gutierrez-Reed filed against them a year ago, the company sold and advertised its props as dummy ammunition, which she thought she was loading into the prop gun, and not live rounds. That’s also what she told detectives. “Why would there be live ammo on the set?” asked a detective in an interrogation video. “I have no idea. At this point, it kind of seems like these were mixed in,” Gutierrez-Reed responds in the video.

The lawsuit also said there were two other accidental and negligent gun discharges on set just days before. The court documents said Gutierrez-Reed brought up those concerns to Kenney, who told her mistakes happened and it was on her, which is seen in a text exchange in the lawsuit.

Gutierrez-Reed was trained by her dad, who was a longtime armorer in Hollywood. It’s a title that Arizona Gun Club 82 founder Rod Ghani said takes intense and important training. “They are very rigorous, and they are extremely critical. There are so many exercises you have to do,” said Ghani.

According to court docs, Gutierrez-Reed was not inside the church at the time of the deadly shooting and didn’t know Baldwin and Hutchins were going to rehearse. She claimed Baldwin didn’t respond to her request days prior to have cross-draw training and that she would never have let Baldwin point the weapon at Hutchins as standard safe gun practices.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney said they were expecting charges, but they expect she’ll be found not guilty by a jury. If she is convicted, she could spend up to 18 months in jail and pay up to a $5,000 fine.