Rust armorer reportedly hung over on set

Rust armorer reportedly hung over on set
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Since the shooting on the set of the film Rust, there’s been a whole lot of back and forth. We’ve heard conflicting reports about who was responsible.


Actor and anti-gun activist Alec Baldwin is no longer facing charges, but armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is.

So far, the first bit of news we’re learning isn’t exactly looking good for her, either. It seems that, at least according to prosecutors, the day of the shooting was the morning after the night before.

The weapons supervisor on the set of “Rust” was likely hungover when she loaded a live bullet into the revolver used by Alec Baldwin who then accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer, prosecutors in the case alleged.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was reportedly drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in the evenings while the movie was being filmed, the prosecution said Friday in response to a motion her lawyers filed seeking to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge against her.

Prosecutors also said they will decide whether to recharge Baldwin within the next 60 days — based on the findings of an analysis of the gun and its broken spear by an independent expert.

In their response, prosecutors claimed Gutierrez-Reed has a history of reckless behavior and should “finally be held accountable” for the safety of the public. The movie armorer had only worked on one other set before she was hired for the production of “Rust.”


This is a damning accusation…assuming there’s evidence to back it up.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in New Mexico, where the shooting happened. So is alcohol. Her consuming either or both are not, in and of itself, either illegal or necessarily problematic. That means prosecutors would have to show that she was drunk the night before.

Further, they’d also need to show that she was so hung over that she couldn’t make sound decisions.

That seems like a tall order to me, though I don’t know what evidence they may actually have.

It’s interesting that prosecutors are considering refining charges against Baldwin, though, which they probably should do. After all, despite his protestations that he didn’t pull the trigger, the evidence we’ve seen makes a compelling case that he’s not telling the truth on that. Maybe he believes it, but I certainly don’t believe that gun somehow fired on its own.

For now, the tragedy on the set of Rust is what it is.

If Gutierrez-Reed is, in fact, responsible for what happened, then she does need to be held accountable. However, we’ve also seen a lot of evidence that she may have been hired over more experienced armorers because she could be bullied into cutting corners.


We’ll have to wait for the trial to see exactly what’s going to happen. I think my own take is pretty obvious here, but I also have to qualify it by noting that I haven’t had access to all of the evidence. I may be wrong.

But I’ll maintain until my dying day that Gutierrez-Reed shouldn’t be the only person prosecuted for what happened, even if she did screw up somehow. It wasn’t her finger on the trigger, after all.

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