Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the head armorer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust Western, said she “almost didn’t take” her last job due to fears that she was not “ready.”
“I was really nervous about it at first and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready but doing it, like, it went really smoothly,” Gutierrez-Reed said in September, during an interview on the Voices of the West podcast.
Gutierrez-Reed shared that she had just finished her first movie as the head armorer in the upcoming film, The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage.
The 24-year-old armorer — who is the daughter of longtime Hollywood firearms expert Thell Reed — added that she learned how to handle firearms from her father since she was a teen.
On Thursday, assistant director Dave Halls reportedly handed Baldwin a prop gun during a rehearsal, and yelled, “Cold gun” — meaning the firearm didn’t have any live rounds of ammunition in it.
Later, Baldwin pulled the trigger, sending one bullet straight through the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins (pictured), and then into the movie’s director, Joel Souza — killing Hutchins and injuring Souza.
A 911 call was then made, altering authorities to the shooting.
“We had two people accidentally shot on a move set by a prop gun, we need help immediately,” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell told a 911 dispatcher. “We need some help, our director and our camerawoman has been shot.”
After the dispatcher asked if the gun was loaded with a real bullet, Mitchell said, “I cannot tell you that.”
Mitchell then seemed to be speaking with someone else, as she could be heard saying, “And this fucking AD [assistant director] that yelled at me at lunch, asking about revisions — he’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happens on the set.”
“We were rehearsing and it went off, and I ran out. We all ran out,” Mitchell then explained to the dispatcher. “They were doubled over, the AD, the camerawoman, and the director.”
The gun Baldwin used was one of three that Gutierrez-Reed had set on a cart outside the building where a scene was being rehearsed, according to court records that were made public on Friday.
Halls had grabbed the firearm from the cart and brought it to the actor, who was unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in a search warrant application.
Court records also note that Gutierrez-Reed reportedly removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and then turned the weapon over to police when they arrived.
Hutchins’ husband Matt Hutchins posted a photo of his late wife to Twitter on Friday, stating, “Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words.”
“Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life,” he added.
Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words. Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life. pic.twitter.com/LgEp4XVkja
— Matt Hutchins (@mhutchins) October 23, 2021
An armorer refers to the individual who oversees all weapons that are used on a production, including making sure the weapons on set are being used safely and properly by actors and stuntmen, according to a report by Associated Press.
A report by Yahoo! News identified Gutierrez-Reed’s TikTok account under the handle @cosmiccorpsehannah — which since appears to have been deactivated or deleted.
— Franklin Sheckler 💡 (@FDSheckler) October 23, 2021