The armorer on set of the movie “Rust,” which has made headlines after a prop gun used by Alec Baldwin killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, once expressed doubt in her capabilities working on Hollywood movie sets.
Hannah Gutierrez was named in records filed on Friday in Santa Fe, New Mexico related to the fatal shooting. According to the records, the gun that took Hutchins’ life and injured director Joel Souza was one of three that Gutierrez had set on a cart outside the building where a scene from the movie was being acted.
The armorer, who also goes by Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, appeared on the “Voices of the West” podcast last month where she admitted she was initially reluctant about her abilities.
“I just finished up working on ‘The Old Way’ with Nicolas Cage, his very first Western. It was also my first time being head armorer as well. You know, 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, it went really smoothly,” she said.
Private security stand at the entrance of the Bonanza Creek Film Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. The director of the movie was wounded, and authorities are investigating. (Andres Leighton/AP)
Gutierrez is the daughter of well known Hollywood armorer Thell Reed. “Dad’s been teaching me a little bit every now and then about guns since I was 16. But I think we really got more into the stuff more just really in the last couple of years,” she said.
“Originally I had planned on working with cameras or I really liked lighting too. I wanted to do DP work but I kind of just tried it with dad one time and I noticed I had a natural knack for it growing up around guns my whole life,” she added when asked about her aspirations in the film industry.
Moments before the fatal shooting, Assistant Director Dave Halls grabbed a prop gun off the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the application.
“Cold gun,” Halls yelled.
Alec Baldwin was seen in tears after a fatal prop gun shooting took place on the set of ‘Rust’ on Thursday killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, far left, and injuring director Daniel Souza, far right. Souza has since been released from the hospital, actress Frances Fisher said. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie | Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican | Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
It wasn’t, according to court records. Instead, when Baldwin pulled the trigger, he killed Hutchins and wounded Souza, who was standing behind her.
It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say.
Halls did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment to the Associated Press. Gutierrez-Reed could not be reached, and messages sent to production companies affiliated with the film were not immediately returned Friday.
In the 911 call released on Friday, the film’s script supervisor confirmed that it was the movie’s “director” and “camerawoman” who were shot and said she wasn’t aware whether the gun was loaded with a real bullet.
“We have two injuries from a movie gun shot,” she echoed. The caller then seemingly became very frustrated, but it is unclear who the frustration was directed toward.
Baldwin described the killing as a “tragic accident” when he broke his silence on the incident on Friday on social media.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
No immediate charges were filed, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was permitted to travel.
“He’s a free man,” Rios said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.