‘Rust’ Armorer Blames Cost-Cutting for Accident

Credit: Unsplash

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has claimed that cost-cutting from producers prevented her from doing her job properly.

Authorities continue their investigation of the set of upcoming film Rust after the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, accidentally fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Due to the nature of the incident, police have primarily sought answers from the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Gutierrez-Reed has asserted that she has no idea how live ammunition even ended up on the set, let alone in Baldwin’s prop gun, but if anyone’s at fault, it’s the producers for preventing her from doing her job properly.

“Safety is Hannah’s number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced,” her attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, said in a statement.

According to Gutierrez-Reed’s statement, despite only being a rookie in the armorer field, she was understaffed, undertrained, and overruled on safety measures by the film’s producers. “Hannah was hired on two positions on this film, which made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer,” the statement said.

“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,” the statement adds, noting that the incident wasn’t even the first accidental discharge on set.

Interestingly, Neal Zoromski, an experienced armorer, told the Los Angeles Times that he turned down an offer to work on the film due to multiple red flags, calling the production “an accident waiting to happen,” which may lay credence to Gutierrez-Reed’s claims.

Authorities are currently working to determine how the live ammunition ended up on set, and have confiscated over 500 rounds of what were supposed to be blanks and dummy rounds.

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