The handling of firearms on the Santa Fe, New Mexico set of Rust was said to be ‘green,’ ‘immature’ and ‘lackadaisical.’
Some of those working on the set prior to the shooting that saw cinematographer Halyna Hutchins killed and director, Joel Souza, wounded, are said to have been horrified by what they saw.
The allegedly poor safety measures involving weapons on set was captured in pictures taken by others working on the film.
In one photo, the armorer, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed, can be seen standing in a circle together with two other women, with a pair of Old West rifles and a revolver.
Handling of guns on set of Rust said to be ‘green’, ‘immature’ and ‘lackadaisical’. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, 24, pictured, was the armorer on the set
Hannah Gutierrez Reed is seen holding a weapon on the set of a movie in an image taken from social media. A source has come forward to detail several instances where guns were being improperly held or left on the ground
In the photograph described by Fox News but not published publicly, the barrel of the rifle can be seen resting against the stomach of one of the women all the while Gutierrez Reed is on the phone.
The butt of the other gun is said to be propped up against the woman’s hip while a third women is seen holding a revolver at the end of the grip together with tangled wired with the barrel of the gun pointing towards the ground.
‘People didn’t know the rules,’ a source told Fox who also detailed other seemingly unsafe episodes.
In another incident, someone gave Gutierrez Reed a revolver while she was sat on the ground and ‘playing on her phone’. She is said to have taken the gun without looking up and then allegedly tucked it into her waistband.
‘Stuff like that just seemed unprofessional and it does not create an atmosphere of safety or professionalism,’ the source said. ‘When you find out she says her training came from her father [famed Hollywood armorer Thell Reed], you think, “Oh she’s a hire because of her connections.”‘
CIRCLED, LEFT TO RIGHT: Alec Baldwin, Halyna Hutchins and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed on the set of Rust”in Santa Fe, New Mexico earlier in October
Focus has been on production’s armorer 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed
Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust – Alec Baldwin killed cinematographer with gun that had been loaded with live ammunition by crew and used to shoot beer cans hours before tragedy
Often, armorers are well trained with many having a military background.
Cameramen Lane Luper who left the production said the armory crew working alongside Gutierrez Reed were ‘three inexperienced people’.
‘It’s fine on a [low-budget production] to have inexperienced people, but your department heads shouldn’t be, or people handling firearms shouldn’t be,’ he told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘It seemed like she was also under a lot of pressure to rush.’
‘I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,’ he also told Good Morning America about the events that led up to the fatal shooting.
‘It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.’
In his letter of resignation, Luper said there had been two accidental weapon discharges on set and one accidental sound-effects explosion that went off around the crew.
‘In my 10 years as a camera assistant I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,’ Luper said.
Luper Lane has criticized the film’s production as one that created the perfect storm for the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins
Luper claimed that there were two previous accidents of a weapon discharge on set and said there were only ever two safety meetings that involved the whole crew
He then disputed the producers’ claim that safety was a top priority on set, saying, ‘I only personally remember two safety meetings that involved the entire crew.’
A lawyer for Gutierrez Reed defended her role as an armorer on Thursday.
‘Hannah was very well trained by her father, Thell, who worked with her on sets from the time she was 10-years-old. She did everything she could to ensure safety on the set.’
Referring to the fact a real bullets were found on set, Bowles said ‘never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ round box.’
Hannah Gutierrez Reed was trained by her father, Thell Reed, seen right in 1966. She had worked with him on sets from the time she was 10-years-old
Hollywood gun handler and trainer Thell Reed is seen left in a picture from July 2020. He is said to have trained his daughter up to work in the same profession
‘What the f**k just happened?’ Baldwin reportedly asked cast and crew members after the shot went off, and Hutchins suddenly stumbled back into head electrician Serge Svetnoy’s arms
Rust assistant director David Halls allegedly handed Baldwin a loaded .45 revolver
‘Who put those in there and why is the central question. Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question, and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break.’
Warrants last week detailed how during a scene rehearsal, assistant director on the film, David Halls, allegedly handed Baldwin a loaded .45 revolver.
He told him that the gun was ‘cold’ and not loaded. Halls was completely unaware that a real bullet was inside the chamber.
As Baldwin rehearsed his cross-draw maneuver, a bullet shot out of the barrel passing through Hutchins torso and landing in the shoulder of the director.
Gutierrez Reed explained to detectives she had checked that dummy rounds were in the weapon earlier in the day adding ‘no live ammo is ever kept on set.’
Pictured, Hutchins on set just before Baldwin’s gun would go off
The incident took place on set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in the desert just outside Santa Fe
But last week, Santa Fe Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that a mix of dummy rounds, blanks and real bullets were all found on set.
Dummies and live rounds can sometimes appear almost identical.
Authorities have been attempting to work out who handled the gun before Baldwin fired the fatal shot on October 21.
It’s believed the gun came into contact with at least four people in the hours prior to the firing and included Baldwin, Gutierrez Reed, Halls and the film’s prop master Sarah Zachry.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department say all those involved have been cooperating with police but scrutiny in particular has focused on the actions of Gutierrez Reed and Halls.
Gutierrez Reed has not been named a suspect, or charged with any crime in connection with Hutchins’ killing, but she retains legal representation.
It is not yet clear how the live round entered the gun before it shot and killed Halyna Hutchins (pictured)
Baldwin, pictured after being questioned just hours after the shooting mourned the loss of Hutchins, whom he called his ‘friend’
Gun that went off in Alec Baldwin’s hands and claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins was used for off-set target practice by crew members and live ammo and blanks were stored together, sources say
Alec Baldwin was wielding a vintage Colt pistol
The gun that killed the cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust had been used for target practice by crew members, sources linked to the western film’s production said.
Multiple sources connected to the set of Rust told TMZ that the same Colt pistol that went off in Alec Baldwin’s hands, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, had been used recreationally by crew members.
The sources claim that some crew members would go off for target practice using real bullets, and some believe a live round from those practice sessions found its way onto the set.
Another source told TMZ that live ammo and blanks were being stored in the same area on set, offering another possible explanation as to how a bullet was fired from Baldwin’s Colt.
A search warrant released Friday said that Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, had laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the Colt from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds.
‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and crew that the gun was safe to fire for the scene, the warrant said.
Seconds later, filming a scene inside an Old West-style church, Baldwin apparently aimed towards the camera and pulled the trigger, accidentally killing Hutchins as she filmed him, and injuring Souza, who stood behind her.
Two production sources who previously worked with Gutierrez-Reed said this was not the first time she was involved in an incident on a movie set.
The two sources told The Daily Beast that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had allegedly given an 11-year-old actress a gun without checking it properly while on the set of the Nicholas Cage film, The Old Way.
‘There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe,’ one of the sources said.
‘She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again.’
Sources on the Rust set have said the fatal incident that killed Hutchins, 42, and injured Souza, 48, was a result of production failings from top to bottom.
They added that assistant director Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was safe, should have checked the weapon.
‘He’s supposed to be our last line of defense and he failed us,’ one of the sources on set said. ‘He’s the last person that’s supposed to look at that firearm.’
A Rust production source told The Daily Beast that there were at least two previous incidents of guns being accidentally discharged by other crewmember on set before Thursday’s tragic incident.
The source described Gutierrez-Reed as ‘inexperienced and green.’