The armorer on the Alec Baldwin movie Rust is speaking out a week after the fatal shooting on set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the movie's armorer, released a statement from her lawyers saying she is "devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired." The attorneys said the film set "would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced" but that she has "no idea where the live rounds came from."
Hutchins was killed, and director Joel Souza was injured, after Baldwin discharged a gun during rehearsal of a scene, and officials say they have recovered the lead projectile that was fired. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza also said Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director David Halls, and Baldwin are the three people who handled the gun before the shooting and that they are the focus of the investigation. Halls admitted to investigators he failed to thoroughly check the gun.
Gutierrez-Reed's statement criticized the Rust production for being "unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings," alleging 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 attorneys also said it was difficult for her to "focus on her job as an armorer" because she was hired for two positions.
Gutierrez-Reed through her attorneys also responded to reports that crew members used the gun that killed Hutchins earlier that day for target practice. "She never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns nor would she permit that," her lawyers said. "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."
Mendoza told Today this week investigators are still trying to determine who brought live rounds, noting he doesn't know why they would be on the set in the first place.