Hannah Gutierrez – Reed, a rookie armorer, loaded the gun which killed Halyna HUTCHINS, while Alec Baldwin was working on her. She was the subject a lot of complaints during her last movie.
Gutierrez-Reed, 24, upset crew members and star Nicolas Cage with her ‘dangerous’ gun handling on the set of The Old Way, just two months before Rust.
Stu Brumbaugh, the key grip on The Old Way, told TheWrap that the young armorer failed to abide by basic gun safety protocols.
He said that after Gutierrez-Reed discharged a weapon for the second time in three days without warning, Cage yelled: ‘Make an announcement, you just blew my f**king eardrums out!’ before reportedly storming off set.
Brumbaugh said he told the assistant director on the Montana set that Gutierrez-Reed needed to be fired: ‘After the second round I was pissed off. We were moving too quickly. She’s a rookie.
Hannah Gutierrez Rice was the subject of many complaints as an armorer on The Old Way. This was months before the fatal incident on Rust.
Nicolas Cage reportedly yelled at her after she fired a gun without warning for the second time on set of The Old Way: ‘You just blew my f**king eardrums out!’
A crew member from The Old Way claimed that he told superiors that Gutierrez-Reed should have been fired after failing to adhere by basic gun safety protocols (Pictured: Kerry Knuppe, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Nicolas cage in The Old Way)
After raising his concerns to his superiors he learned that The Old Way was a young woman’s first movie.
A producer for The Old Way denied Brumbaugh’s claims: ‘I have no such recollection of this event on our set. I asked my partners the exact same question. They said that the details of some of these accounts, particularly when they relate to The Old Way, were exaggerated.
The Old Way producer said that Gutierrez-Reed worked under veteran property master, Jeffrey W. Crow.
But Brumbaugh and another source who was on the set claimed that Gutierrez-Reed: ‘put the cast and crew in several unnecessary and dangerous situations.’
Brumbaugh insisted that she broke safety protocols when she walked onto the set with live rounds of blanks without making an announcement to the cast and crew.
He claimed that she wore pistols under her arm and had rifles in both her hands. They were ready to be used at all times. She also claimed that she fired guns twice without warning.
Low budgets are key reasons why someone so inexperienced was appointed to such an important job. He said, “The tragedy is that it boils down to producers.”
“It’s happening more and more. Producers are refusing to hire more experienced workers because their rates tend to be higher. They demand we take our times and (producers), don’t want the money. They hire someone who is enthusiastic, wants to do the job, and can work with fewer people.
He continued: ‘The problem is she didn’t have help. I would have needed at least two more people. She was doing everything herself in that movie as well as the other movie. The tragedy wouldn’t have happened if there were another person in that movie. A second person would have checked to make sure the barrels were clean.
Brumbaugh explained that he understood how mistakes could be made: ‘You have an AD screaming at you…You’re 24 and energetic and don’t want to be yelled at. You rush to arm people and then you run.
Gutierrez Reed (left) said in a podcast interview that loading blanks into a gun was the scariest thing she had ever done. She didn’t know how and had sought help form her father, Thell Reed (right), to overcome her fear.
Halyna HUTCHINS’ October 19, 2021 Instagram photo shows cast members and staffers Alec Baldwin and Halyna Utchins (Circled from left to right on the set Rust in Santa Fe. New Mexico).
Sources also told The Daily Beast of Gutierrez-Reed’s ‘unsafe’ mistakes on The Old Way set saying she had handed a gun to 11-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
Source said that she was very careless with guns and would wave it around every now-and-then. We were concerned that she loaded the blanks in an unsafe manner and that she was doing so a few times.
The insider added that they had seen her loading a gun on pebble strewn ground, which has the potential to be dangerous, before handing off the gun to Armstrong.
Source said that she was reloading the gun on ground, where there were pebbles, etc. “We didn’t see her inspect it, so we don’t know if anything got in the barrel.”
GutierrezReed, herself, admitted that she wasn’t sure her job was right after filming for The Old Way.
‘It was also the first time I was head armorer. I will admit that I was initially nervous about the job and almost refused to accept it. However, once I started doing it, it was very easy.
She said, “The best part of my job is just showing people who are normally scared out by guns how safe they are and how they’re really not problematic unless they’re in the wrong hands.”
Aerial view of Bonanza Creek Ranch, Santa Fe, where Rust was being film. Workers were protesting the fact that production wouldn’t pay them to stay in Santa Fe hotels and motels, forcing them to drive an entire hour to Albuquerque.
Alec Baldwin (left), who shot and killed Halyna HUTCHINS (right), on Thursday after he was given a prop gun and live ammunition
She also confessed in the podcast interview that she found loading blanks in a gun to the most frightening thing. She did not know how to do this and had sought out help from Thell Reed (respected gunsmith) to overcome the fear.
According to her LinkedIn page she worked as a videographer for Synth Fire in California and as a documentary film maker for the City Flagstaff in Arizona.
She was an armorer for Yellowstone’s film ranch between March 2021 and June 2021. According to the page, she quit three months prior when filming for Rust began in October.
Gutierrez Rice had just left Northern Arizona University, where her studies in creative media and film were between 2017-2020.
She was seen for the first-time since the tragic incident outside her Bullhead City home, Arizona.
On October 21, a female cinematographer was killed and the director was injured when assistant director Dave Halls handed Baldwin a prop gun that Gutierrez-Reed loaded with live ammunition.
A spokesperson for Santa Fe County Sheriff Department stated that the investigation was still active and open. Witnesses will continue to be interviewed, and evidence will be collected.
Hutchins’s death is under investigation by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. They could impose civil penalties even if there are no charges.
Deadline was informed by Rebecca Roose (deputy cabinet secretary, New Mexico Environment Department), that ‘our state OSHA program is investigating it.
“The state takes workplace safety very seriously and will diligently investigate this tragic death.”