Alec Baldwin pointed gun ‘against all rules and common sense,’ movie armorer says

By Julia Vargas Jones, Chloe Melas and Paul Vercammen, CNN

(CNN) – The armorer on the set of the film “Rust” said she was not called to inspect the gun that ultimately fired a live round, fatally wounding cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed issued a statement Saturday in response to a legal filing a day earlier in which Alec Balwin said Hutchins told him to cock the gun.

“Mr. Baldwin knew that he could never point a firearm at crew members under any circumstances and had a duty of safety to his fellow crew members,” Gutierrez Reed said.

“Yet he did point the gun at Halyna before the fatal incident against all rules and common sense.”

Baldwin’s version of the moments that led up to the fatal shooting last October in New Mexico included an arbitration demand filed by Baldwin’s lawyer and obtained by CNN. In it, Baldwin claimed he asked Hutchins if he should cock the gun and that she told him to do it.

In Balwin’s filing, the actor said he asked Hutchins whether she wanted to see him cock the gun, as the script required — and that she said yes.

“Baldwin tipped the gun down somewhat so that the lens of the camera would be able to focus on his hand’s action on the top of the gun,” the filing said.

“While performing this action, Baldwin asked Hutchins, ‘Am I holding it too far down?’ and ‘Do you see that?’

Hutchins responded that she could see Baldwin’s action from her angle. Baldwin then pulled back the hammer, but not far enough to actually cock the gun. When Baldwin let go of the hammer, the gun went off.”

In a statement, attorneys for Hutchins’ family accused Baldwin of “trying to avoid liability and accountability for his reckless actions.”

“Baldwin’s disclosure of personal texts with Matt Hutchins is irrelevant to his demand for arbitration and fails to demonstrate anything other than Hutchins’ dignity in his engagement with Baldwin,” the family statement said.

“It is shameful that Baldwin claims Hutchins’ actions in filing a wrongful death lawsuit derailed the completion of ‘Rust.’ The only action that ended the film’s production was Baldwin’s killing of Halyna Hutchins.”

The actor’s legal filing Friday included numerous text messages between Baldwin and Hutchins’ husband following the shooting.

The filing also said since October Baldwin had “offered comfort and support to Matthew Hutchins and his son, as well as constructive input towards a settlement of the case.”

“He has worked extensively to find ways to help Hutchins and his son,” Baldwin’s filing said. “It is that same spirit that renders Baldwin reluctant to contradict some of Matthew Hutchins’ public statements. Unfortunately, given the nature of Hutchins’ accusations against Baldwin, he has no choice.”

The court document also claimed when Baldwin arrived on the New Mexico set, he underwent a training session with Gutierrez Reed and he understood from that session he did not need to check the gun for live ammunition.

“Reed did not instruct Baldwin to check the gun himself. In fact, she told Baldwin that it was her job to check the gun — not his,” the document said.

“Similarly, Baldwin believed, based on prior gun safety training he received on movie sets, that actors should not unilaterally check guns for live ammunition. If actors want to check a gun for their own peace of mind, they should only check the gun with the armorer closely supervising the process. In other words, actors may jointly inspect a gun with the armorer, but never on their own.”

But Gutierrez Reed, in her statement Saturday, said she encountered “constant resistance” from Baldwin and production staff during her time on the set.

“Hannah emphasized the importance of training Mr. Baldwin in the cross draw, which is dangerous,” the statement said. “He never accepted the offer and Hannah was not able to conduct that training as well as other training she wanted to do, because of budgeting and being overruled by production.”
CNN has sought comment from a representative for Rust Movie Productions LLC.

CNN’s Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.

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