In a press conference held on Wednesday, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said that around 500 rounds of ammunition were found on the Rust set, with some believed to be live rounds. Now, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer who worked on Rust, has spoken out about the prop gun accident that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Gutierrez Reed released a statement shared by Deadline, through her attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, saying that safety was her “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.”
The statement continued, “Hannah, still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge. The first one on this set was the prop master and the second one was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks.”
The attorneys added, “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.”
It has been previously confirmed that Gutierrez Reed and Halls were the last to inspect and handle the prop gun that discharged in Alec Baldwin’s hand, killing Hutchins.
The Wrap reported earlier this week that, according to key grip Stu Brumbaugh, who worked with Gutierrez Reed on the film The Old Way, the armorer had been negligent on set.
Brumbaugh claimed that Gutierrez Reed failed to announce the use of weapons on set. He also alleged that after she fired a gun near the cast and crew without warning, Nicolas Cage yelled at her, “Make an announcement, you just blew my eardrums out!” and walked off set furious.
Brumbaugh said that after that particular incident, he himself told the assistant director that she needed to be “let go.” He also alleged that on occasion, the armorer “turned around and pistols that were tucked under her armpits were pointing back at people.”
The Old Way marked her first time working as a head armorer in a movie.