‘Rust’ armorer blames Alec Baldwin for fatal shooting because he failed to turn up to a ‘cross draw’ training session in lawsuit against firm that she claims supplied live ammunition instead of fake bullets
- Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a lawsuit in New Mexico claiming Alec Baldwin ignored a request to attend a ‘cross bow’ session before the tragedy
- She also faulted assistant director David Halls for failing to follow protocol when he allegedly handed Baldwin the weapon without first calling on her to inspect it
- Gutierrez-Reed, 24, is suing Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm and Prop LLC for allegedly supplying the deadly bullet
- The 24-page document also details about a set rife with bitter disputes, carelessness, and anecdotes that detail a disregard for safety
- On set, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead, and director Joel Souza was injured while Baldwin was handing a prop gun
The armorer for doomed western ‘Rust’ – where a cinematographer was shot dead by a live bullet in October – is laying part of the blame on gunman Alec Baldwin for failing to attend a training session.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a lawsuit in a Bernalillo County, New Mexico court on Wednesday that claims Baldwin, 63, ignored a request to attend a ‘cross bow’ session about a week before the tragedy.
The rookie armorer also faulted assistant director David Halls for failing to follow set protocol when he allegedly handed Baldwin the weapon without first calling on her to inspect it, according to the lawsuit.
Gutierrez-Reed, 24, is suing Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm and Prop LLC for allegedly supplying the deadly bullet. Baldwin is not named as a defendant in the suit.
The 24-page document is also rife with details about a set rife with bitter disputes, carelessness and anecdotes that detail a disregard for safety.
Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a lawsuit in a Bernalillo County, New Mexico court Wednesday that claimed Alec Baldwin, 63, ignored a request to attend a ‘cross bow’ session about a week before the tragedy
Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidentally shot dead by Baldwin
Alec Baldwin is seen on Tuesday in New York City carrying water to the car while on his phone. The actor refutes claims that he is not cooperating in the investigation of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’s death after reports that he will not hand over his cell phone
Gutierrez-Reed – whose dad is legendary film armorer Thell Reed – said her father worked with Kenney on a previous film, where they trained actors at a licensed shooting range using live ammunition.
Following the workshop, Kenney took a bucket filed with upward of 300 live .45 Colt rounds home, the lawsuit claims. The cache included Starline Brass reloaded ‘live’ rounds – the same type of bullet used during the ‘Rust’ incident.
About a month later, Gutierrez-Reed landed a gig as an armorer and props assistant on ‘Rust,’ where she was tasked with juggling two jobs at once.
‘This gun heavy script required Hannah to perform a significant amount of work each day as both an armorer and key props assistant,’ the legal filing said.
She was soon joined on set by props manager Sarah Zachry, who later accidentally fired a blank round at her foot on set, the lawsuit said.
About 20 minutes after that mishap, Baldwin’s stunt double also accidentally discharged a weapon on set, prompting Gutierrez-Reed to confront her colleague about the sloppy mistakes, the lawsuit said.
When she indicated her intentions of reporting the incident to management, it led to a headed exchange with Kenney, the bullet supplier.
‘Accidental discharges are accidents,’ Kenney said in a text message referenced in the legal filing. ‘We learn and move on, and don’t forget, she’s your boss. Don’t push it.’
On the morning of the shooting, October 21, Gutierrez-Reed said she arrived to the set to find Zachry already in the prop trailer, retrieving fire arms.
She also discovered a full box labeled ‘dummy rounds .45 LC’ that someone placed atop her equipment bag, the lawsuit said.
She believes the box came from Kenney and when she shook it, heard a ‘jingling’ sound which is what it’s supposed to sound like when dummy bullets are being rattled.
Alec Baldwin was spotted carrying bags and a painting in New York City on Tuesday
The actor insists he is complying with the police investigation into the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of ‘Rust’
Gutierrez-Reed said she was met with hostility by bullet supplier Seth Kenney when she revealed her intentions of reporting accidental discharges on set to producers
The lawsuit also claims that Kenney texted Gutierrez-Reed after the tragedy in an effort to convince her to drop claims the shooting was an act of sabotage
Said the lawsuit: ‘Had Hannah been called back in, she would have re-inspected the weapon, and every round again, and instructed Baldwin on safe gun practice with the cross draw’
Baldwin has claimed that he cross drew the firearm and, at Hutchins’ requested, pointed the gun toward her before it ‘just went off’
Later that morning, she said she, Zachry and another coworker loaded Baldwin’s gun, attempting to use dummy rounds from the box.
‘For Alec Baldwin’s gun, Hannah loaded 4 dummy rounds with holes in them from her pants pocket, a 5th dummy round from the box with a hole in it and attempted to load a 6th dummy round without a hole in it from the box but it would not go into the chamber, and she thought the chamber might need to be cleaned,’ the lawsuit said.
‘Hannah remembers shaking the sixth round to ensure herself that it was a dummy round.’
Baldwin was then handed the gun and in possession of it from 10 am through 12:30 pm, when the crew broke for lunch, the filing said.
It was stored until 1:30 pm, when she cleaned Baldwin’s gun and inserted another round from the dummy box into it after shaking it to ensure it was not real, the claim said.
‘To the best of Hannah’s knowledge, the gun was now loaded with 6 dummy rounds,’ the claim said. ‘Indeed, Defendants as suppliers of prop ammunition to the Rust set, sold, distributed, and advertised its props as dummy ammunition and not live rounds.
‘Hannah relied upon and trusted that Defendants would only supply dummy prop ammunition, or blanks, and no live rounds were ever to be on set.’
The lawsuit claims the film’s assistant director broke protocol by handing the gun to Baldwin without calling on Gutierrez-Reed to inspect it a final time before use
Gutierrez-Reed said that during the last time she checked Baldwin’s gun, she was certain it was filled with dummy rounds
Baldwin is pictured second from left next to Hutchins on the set of Rust
Gutierrez-Reed said she handed the gun to the assistant director inside the on set church and then left to tend to other work-related responsibilities
The film’s assistant director handed the gun to Baldwin just before the shooting without calling on Gutierrez-Reed to inspect it a final time, the lawsuit said. Baldwin is pictured speaking on the phone after the prop gun killed Hutchins
She then delivered the gun to to set church and handed it to Halls, the assistant director, who said he’d be ‘sitting in’ with the gun.
The lawsuit claims Halls later handed the gun to Baldwin without calling on Gutierrez-Reed to inspect it a final time before use.
She said she was tending to her duties as a prop assistant.
‘Knowing that no gun scene was going on at that time according to Halls, and with awareness of COVID protocols and social distancing, Hannah then walked outside the church to prepare her fanny pack for scenes that afternoon and to do some of her prop duties,’ the lawsuit said.
‘Production was behind that day and Hannah was acutely aware of the need to attend to her prop duties as well, for scenes that afternoon.’
Shortly after the shooting, Halls released a statement calling Hutchins his ‘friend’ and asked the industry to ‘reevaluate’ its values
Kenney texted Gutierrez-Reed after the tragedy and tried to persuade her to lay the blame on the film’s assistant director Halls
Within 15 minutes, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead, and director Joel Souza was struck in the shoulder.
Baldwin has claimed that he cross drew the firearm and, at Hutchins’ requested, pointed the gun toward her before it ‘just went off.’
He has denied pulling the trigger.
The accidental discharge never would have happened if Halls had summoned Gutierrez-Reed to supervise, the court filing said.
‘Had Hannah been called back in, she would have re-inspected the weapon, and every round again, and instructed Baldwin on safe gun practice with the cross draw, as was her standard practice on set and under circumstances where (1) Baldwin did not respond to Hannah’s request on October 15 to schedule cross draw training and (2) the gun had been out of her possession for 15 minutes.’
Dummy reloaded with live ammo – and stamped with the Starline Brass logo – were later discovered on set, according to a previously unearthed search warrant.
The lawsuit also claims that Kenney texted Gutierrez-Reed after the tragedy, and tried to convince her to help ‘implicate AD [assistant director] Halls.’
Said the text: ‘Had you partnered up with a truly professional AD, none of this would have happened.
‘That true professional would have supported your safe efforts. Instead you got David ”reckless” Halls.’
Added the lawsuit: ‘Seth suggested that AD Halls had essentially bullied Hannah and not allowed her to do her job safely. Seth stated that if she would shift blame to Halls, he would “have her back.”’
Kenney also texted her dad in an effort to try to convince claims made publicly by her lawyers that the shooting was an act of sabotage, the lawsuit said.
Shortly after the shooting, Halls released a statement calling Hutchins his ‘friend’ and asked the industry to ‘reevaluate’ its values.
‘I’m shocked and saddened by her death,’ Halls said. ‘It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.’
He failed to address reports that he was one of the three people to handle the loaded gun before the tragedy.
Kenney could not be reached for comment.
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