When actor Alec Baldwin discharged a gun he was told was “cold,” or unloaded, on the set of the movie “Rust’ and shot crew member Halyna Hutchins, questions of blame in Hutchins’ death immediately began to be asked.
In addition to Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armorer, and two others handled the gun on the day of the on-set shooting.
An armorer like Gutierrez Reed, 24, is hired to oversee the use of firearms and ammunition on movie sets and is directly involved in maintaining the weapons. An attorney for Gutierrez Reed previously told Fox News that “Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set.”
Here are five things to know about the young weapons professional.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed worked as an armorer on the film ‘Rust.’ (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
She’s relatively new to the business
According to her IMDb page, “Rust” is only the third film that Gutierrez Reed has worked on.
In 2020, she was credited as a costume assistant on the movie “Millennium Bugs,” before working as the head armorer on a film called “The Old Way,” starring Nicolas Cage.
Like “Rust,” “The Old Way” is a Western film that includes the use of guns. In fact, set photos on IMDb feature Gutierrez standing with young actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong as she holds a rifle at the ready.
Her father is in showbiz
Gutierrez Reed is the daughter of veteran armorer Thell Reed.
Thell Reed’s first credit as an armorer came in 1993 when he worked on “Tombstone,” starring Kurt Russell.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed was one of four people known to have handled the firearm on the day of the shooting. (Reuters)
Since then, he’s worked on a number of high-profile films, including “Blade,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Django Unchained” and “Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood.”
Thell works as more than just an armorer, however. He’s also been credited as a weapons specialist, gun coach, quick draw expert and more.
The expert has made two on-screen appearances, produced a film and worked as an assistant property manager on two other titles.
She handled the gun on the day of the incident
A law enforcement warrant says Gutierrez Reed was one of four people to handle the gun that killed Hutchins on Oct. 21.
The warrant stated that Gutierrez Reed examined the on-set guns on the day of the incident to ensure that they were not “hot,” an industry term meaning loaded with ammunition or blanks.
The guns were then secured in a safe on a “prop truck,” per the warrant. However, during lunch, ammunition was left unsecured on a cart on the set.
Later, Gutierrez Reed said that prop master Sarah Zachry removed the guns from the truck and brought them to her. Gutierrez Reed also said she handed the gun to Baldwin multiple times and also handed it to assistant director Dave Halls. Halls handed the gun to Baldwin before the fatal shooting, according to the warrant.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins lost her life on the set of ‘Rust.’ (Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks)
The armorer enjoys showing people “how safe” guns can be
Back in September, Guttierrez Reed appeared on the “Voices of the West” podcast and opened up about her job.
“I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns how safe they can be and how they’re not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands,” she said during her interview.
Reed also said on the podcast that “loading blanks” into a prop gun is the “scariest thing to me.”
“You have to like look at the front of it and determine which one is the blank, if it’s dummied up. That’s how I tell at least,” she explained. “Every movie I’m learning new and new things — it’s all very quick.”
Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys speculate sabotage occurred on set, while she plans to speak out more soon
Since the shooting, Gutierrez Reed has remained largely silent on the incident but recently spoke out via her attorneys, who speculate sabotage occurred on set.
Speaking on the “Today” show Wednesday, lawyers Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence claimed that the bullets their client loaded into the gun on the day of the shooting were taken from a box that was only supposed to contain dummy rounds that were incapable of firing. However, because the ammunition was left unattended from roughly 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, they believe the opportunity was there for a disgruntled crew member to mix a live round into the box.
Alec Baldwin (R) was handed the firearm by assistant director Dave Halls (L), who believed there was no ammunition loaded. (IMDb/Getty Images)
“We don’t know, however, whether that live round came from that box,” Bowles said. “We’re assuming it did. We’re assuming somebody put that live round in that box, which, if you think about that, the person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set. There’s no other reason you would do that. That you would mix that live round with the dummy rounds.”
Meanwhile, when speaking to Fox News Digital, the armorer said she is “not ready to speak on” the incident yet, as it had “only been two weeks.”
“That’ll come,” she said Wednesday of sharing more of her story. “At this point in time, I’m just referring and directing everyone to my lawyers.”