A major player in the Rust tragedy is finally speaking out.
Following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who passed away from an accidental shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s latest film, fingers have been pointing as to who’s to blame. Stories have emerged regarding armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was relatively inexperienced in the position and allegedly had other safety violations on previous sets.
The 24-year-old broke her silence on the matter on Thursday, releasing a statement through her lawyers to MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian. It read:
“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.”
The statement continued:
“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.”
Authorities still haven’t confirmed where the live rounds came from, either, but production sources have suggested that crew members loaded the guns for some extracurricular target practice. However, the armorer clarified:
“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.”
Well, something’s definitely not adding up if the guns were accounted for and still ended up loaded with a live round. The bullets didn’t materialize on their own.
The statement went on:
“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.”
The young professional then pointed her own finger towards the film’s producers — which includes Baldwin. They explained:
“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. [Not] the fault of Hannah.”
Hmm. Well, considering there was a crew walkout due to safety shortly before the shooting, it’s clear that the producers definitely bear some — if not most — of the responsibility for this tragedy. It’s pretty suspicious that they would hire someone to be an armorer as well as another position — however, it seems like Hannah knew how wrong that was, and probably should have declined doing both roles from the start knowing it would compromise her duties as armorer.
Statement from Hannah Gutierrez Reid- Armorer on the Rust set. pic.twitter.com/S0CH5mVQgG
— yasminvossoughian (@yasminv) October 29, 2021
The statement concluded with a promise:
“Hannah and her legal team will address more of these rumors and the whole incident in an upcoming statement next week.”
As we’ve noted before, every bit of information that has come out is painting a clearer picture of how this horrible event could have transpired. Hannah’s story is no exception. But there are definitely some details we’re curious for her to address. For instance, did she not check the gun for ammo (live or otherwise) before handing it off to first AD Dave Halls? Halls told police he “couldn’t recall” if she “spun the drum” (like she was supposed to) before he announced “cold gun” immediately before the shooting — did she follow proper procedure? And if not, why?
It seems like we’ll be getting answers to these questions soon enough — either through future statements from Hannah or through the investigation. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.