From The Daily Mail:
‘I wasn’t sure if I was ready’: The 24-year-old armorer who had doubts before being put in charge of guns on Alec Baldwin film set where he shot cinematographer dead – after some crew walked out over safety
The 24-year-old head armorer in charge of guns on the Alec Baldwin film where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on Thursday had admitted she wasn’t sure she was ready for the job in an interview before filming started.
‘I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, it went really smoothly,’ Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said in a podcast interview last month after leading the firearms department for The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage – her first time as head armorer.
She also admitted in the podcast interview that she found loading blanks into a gun to be ‘the scariest’ thing because she did not know how to do it and had sought help from her father, legendary gunsmith Thell Reed, to get over the fear.
It comes as crew on the film revealed they walked off set hours before the fatal accident over safety fears after firearms were accidentally discharged three times – including once by Baldwin’s stunt double who had been told the gun was not loaded, and twice in a closed cabin.
From the New York Post:
The “inexperienced” armorer in charge of weapons on set of Alec Baldwin’s movie “Rust” had given a gun to an 11-year-old actress without checking properly for safety, a report said.
Gutierrez-Reed’s alleged misstep happened on the set of the upcoming Nicholas Cage film, “The Old Way” and temporarily halted filming, sources told The Daily Beast.
“She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff,” one source told the outlet. “We didn’t see her check it, we didn’t know if something got in the barrel or not.”
Gutierrez-Reed reportedly handed the gun to child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, forcing concerned crew members to intervene, the report said. The gun was then checked for barrel obstruction, according to the sources.
“She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again,” a source said.
“There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe.”
The smoking gun that claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins might’ve been more than just an on-set prop — it was also being fired recreationally, even when cameras weren’t rolling.
Multiple sources directly connected to the ‘Rust’ production tell TMZ … the same gun Alec Baldwin accidentally fired — hitting the DP and director — was being used by crews members off set as well, for what we’re told amounted to target practice.
We’re told this off-the-clock shooting — which was allegedly happening away from the movie lot — was being done with real bullets … which is how some who worked on the film believe a live round found its way in one of the chambers that day.
There’s also this … one source who was on set and familiar with the goings-on of the crew tells us that when cops showed up, they found live ammo and blanks were being stored in the same area — another possible explanation for how an actual bullet slipped got in the gun.
So let’s recap.
The head armorer was 24 years old and inexperienced. This was her second armorer job and she had an incident on her first job that should have been a career ender.
She is the daughter of another famous Hollywood armorer, giving me the gut feeling that her career is based on legacy and riding daddy’s coattails. A very Hollywood thing.
She was also prolific on Instagram and TikTok as a quasi gun bunny (lots of guns but definitely not hot enough for bunny status), both of those accounts have been deleted. This gives me the heebie jeebies because I don’t trust someone with gun safety if they send their time taking gun flex selfies.
I’ll admit my prejudice that I don’t trust any professional who does Instagram. You either do your job or you post staged pictures of you looking like you’re doing a glamorize version your job. Not both.
Every gun handling practice was unsafe.
Then, to make matters worse, the were using their prop guns for after hours target shooting and mixed live ammo and blanks.
This was an epic fucking disaster.
Lots of people should go to prison for this.