The identity of Rust‘s female armorer, the person primarily responsible for the safety of prop guns used on the set of the tragedy-plagued Alec Baldwin western, has been revealed in a 10.23 Daily Mail story.
The Santa Fe Reporter‘s Jeff Proctor declined to name her yesterday as she hasn’t been accused or charged in a crime; ditto Indiewire’s Chris Lindahl in another 10.22 story. But the Daily Mail team — Lauren Lewis, Jennifer Smith, Keith Griffith, Dhawn Cohen, Elizabeth Ribuffo — charged right in and blew the bloody doors off.
The armorer is Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24 year-old daughter of “legendary” gunsmith Thell Reed. Rust‘s assistant director — the guy who shouted “cold gun” before handing the loaded weapon to Baldwin, who subsequently and by way of a purely foolish accident shot and killed the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins — is Dave Halls (Fargo, The Matrix Reloaded).
The Mail reports that Gutierrez-Reed’s last job was as head armorer for The Old Way, a Nicolas Cage western. She allegedly stated after that film wrapped that “she wasn’t sure if she was ready to be a head armorer,” and that “she found loading blanks into a gun ‘the scariest’ thing because she did not know how to do it and had sought help from her father to get over the fear.”
It’s been reported elsewhere that various concerns (safety, long hours, a refusal to pay for nearby motels) resulted in a production crew walking off the set of Rust on Thursday morning. “When the crew began to pack up, they found a team of non-union workers waiting to replace them,” the story reports.
It’s also been reported that firearms were accidentally discharged three times — including once by Baldwin’s stunt double who had been told the gun was not loaded, and twice in a closed cabin.
Friendo: “In all that’s been written about the tragic gun incident, one question has strangely not once been posed: Why was Alec Baldwin pointing the gun directly at the director and cinematographer?”
HE to Friendo: “I gather that the shot called for Baldwin to fire almost directly into the lens. That’s been done a few times on other films, or so I gather. The bullet hit Hutchins in the upper chest, exited through her back and hit the director, Joel Souza, in the clavicle area (i.e., the bone that connects the breastplate to the shoulder).
Here’s a 10.23 Daily Beast story by Cheyenne Roundtree — “‘Inexperienced’ Armorer, Tight Budget, Walk Offs: Trouble Was Brewing on Baldwin Film.”
Subhead: “The accident was a result of failings from top to bottom, sources said, starting with the production’s cost-cutting measures, which led to the hiring of a 24-year-old armorer.”