The young woman who was responsible for the guns on the set of the western where Alec Baldwin accidentally killed a filmmaker in late October told investigators she was negligent in checking the actor’s operated revolver just before the drama .
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, gunsmith of the film “Rust”, was questioned by the police officers who seek in particular to determine how a live ammunition could have been introduced on the set of the western on a low budget, resulting in the death of the director of photography , Halyna Hutchins. The latter was fatally injured when Alec Baldwin activated a revolver, which had been presented to him as harmless, while he was working on a scene.
“Not really much checked”
According to a document released Tuesday by the Sheriff’s Department in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the gunsmith told officers she loaded five dummy cartridges into the gun just before lunch break. On resumption, she had extracted the weapon from the safe where she had placed it and added a sixth cartridge, then handed the revolver to another employee of the filming. Shortly after, she said she heard a detonation coming from the set.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told investigators she “didn’t really check the gun very much” because it was locked up over lunch. She had previously claimed to ignore the presence of any live ammunition on set.
500 ammunition seized on the set
Police seized more than 500 ammunition on the set, presented as a mixture of blank cartridges, dummy cartridges and some ammunition suspected to be real.
On Tuesday, investigators reported possible leads that could explain the presence of this live ammunition, formally prohibited on set by the rules in force in the film industry in the United States.
One of the suppliers of the ammunition used on the set of “Rust”, Seth Kenney, indicated that he had potentially sold the film crew hand-assembled ammunition – possibly from recycled elements – including the logo matches the logo on the lethal cartridge.
For his part, Hannah Guttierez-Reed’s father, Thell Reed, a renowned film gunsmith, said he had provided Seth Kenney with “homemade” live ammunition for the preparations for a film on which they had previously collaborated. And he claims that his colleague never returned them to him.
The police investigation is continuing and, if no arrests have taken place, criminal prosecution is not excluded if responsibility is established.
Alec Baldwin, who is also producer of “Rust”, lamented this “accident” which he said had “a chance in a trillion” to occur.