"Rust" armorer claims Baldwin skipped gun training session

"Rust" armorer claims Baldwin skipped gun training session
Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP

Alec Baldwin still hasn’t turned over his cell phone to authorities investigating the fatal shooting of cinematographer Helena Hutchins on the set of his movie “Rust” back in October, despite a valid search warrant for the device. Baldwin’s civil attorney claimed on Thursday that the phone “is being turned over this week,” which would indicate the sheriff will get the phone sometime today, but we’ll have to wait and see if that pans out.


Meanwhile, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year old armorer on the set of the independent film, alleges in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that Baldwin skipped a firearms training session during the film’s production; one that directly related to the cross-draw he was supposedly practicing when his revolver fired.

The lawsuit says Gutierrez-Reed asked Baldwin to schedule the training on October 15, less than a week before the fatal shooting but she never heard back from the actor.

A lawyer representing Baldwin didn’t immediately respond Thursday to Insider’s request for comment. New Mexico authorities have issued a search warrant for Baldwin’s phone as part of their investigation.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawsuit says she was not inside the mock church when Baldwin shot the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the afternoon of October 21 because she believed that no gun-related rehearsing was underway. The suit adds that she also knew the film set’s COVID-19 protocols advised against a large number of people crowding inside an enclosed space.

The lawsuit says no one called Gutierrez-Reed back into the church when Baldwin began rehearsing the scene, which involved a cross draw, even though her presence was required for any gun-related filming or rehearsing.

“Hannah did not see the weapon, nor did she have custody of it for approximately 15 minutes,” the lawsuit says.

Inside that 15-minute window, Baldwin began practicing a “cross-draw,” in which he would grab the gun from his shoulder holster with his opposite hand and withdraw it, the lawsuit says.

Hutchins also directed Baldwin to point the firearm in her direction during that window, the lawsuit says. It adds that Gutierrez-Reed would have never permitted Baldwin to point the firearm at Hutchins had she been inside the church.
Keep in mind, these are only allegations, and Gutierrez-Reed has faced her own allegations of impropriety since the shooting. The armorer also accused the company that supplied the firearms and ammunition to the set of mixing live ammunition with the dummy rounds that were supposed to be loaded into the guns before filming.
Still, I wouldn’t be shocked if the armorer’s allegation pans out, at least as far as the suggested training goes. While there are still a lot of questions that need answers, it’s been painfully obvious from from the get-go that several fundamental rules of firearm safety were broken that day, including Baldwin pointing his gun at Hutchins and director Joel Souza, who were standing directly behind the camera Baldwin was aiming at.
You always treat your gun as if it’s loaded, and you never point it at anything you’re not willing to destroy. Plain and simple, and yet completely disregarded by the cast and crew on scene that day. Honestly, I still don’t understand why the crew simply didn’t set up a monitor for Hutchins and Souza to look at that wasn’t directly in the sight line of Baldwin’s gun, which would have been the easiest way to ensure their safety.
With the criminal investigation still underway and the civil suits flying left and right, it’s impossible to know what the real story is at the moment, but maybe we’ll be able to learn a little more if Baldwin actually complies with the sheriff’s search warrant and turns over his cell phone this week.


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