Rust armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed has issued a statement through her lawyers in which she said she had “no idea where the live rounds came from” following the discharge of a gun on set that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Addressing what it calls “untruths that have been told to the media, which have falsely portrayed her and slandered her”, the statement goes on to say: “Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from.”
Hutchins (pictured) died on October 21 after a Colt .45 held by Alec Baldwin discharged on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of the western near Santa Fe, New Mexico, while he was rehearsing a gun draw. Hutchins was hit in the chest and rushed to hospital and subsequently died. Director Joel Souza had been standing behind her during the incident and was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury and later discharged.
Santa Fe authorities are investigating the matter and no charges have been filed at time of writing.
The statement through attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence of Bowles Law Firm concludes, “This was not the fault of Hannah.”
The full statement sent to Screen by the lawyers appears below.
First Hannah would like to extend her deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Halyna. She was an inspirational woman in film who Hannah looked up to. She also offers her thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Joel. Hannah is devastated and completely beside herself over the events that have transpired.
She would like to address some untruths that have been told to the media, which have falsely portrayed her and slandered her. Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah and the prop master gained control over the guns and she never witnessed anyone shoot live rounds with these guns and nor would she permit that. They were locked up every night and at lunch and there’s no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members. Hannah still, to this day, has never had an accidental discharge. The first one on this set was the prop master and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks.
Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer. She fought for training, days to maintain weapons, and proper time to prepare for gunfire but ultimately was overruled by production and her department. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah.
Hannah and her legal team will address more of these rumors and the whole incident in an upcoming statement next week.