Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has filed a lawsuit against Seth Kenney and PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC, that claims that disgraced actor Alec Baldwin ignored a request to attend a “cross draw” session prior to the tragic incident on the film’s set, which ended the life of Halyna Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.
According to the 24-page lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the film’s armourer, Gutierrez-Reed alleges that Kenney and PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC violated New Mexico’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, created a dangerous condition, used false and deceptive product labels as well as false and material misrepresentations, and breached their contract.
She is demanding a trial by jury for compensatory, punitive, and treble damages as well as costs and expenses of the case.
While the lawsuit is aimed at Kenney and PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC, it provides Gutierrez-Reed’s account of the events leading up to and following the death of Halyna Hutchins.
Specifically it confirms reports that there were multiple negligent discharges on the set before the killing of Halyna Hutchins.
The suit states, “On October 16, five days prior to the tragic shooting on the Rust set, Sarah had an accidental/negligent discharge of a weapon on set, firing a blank round at her foot. Within 15-20 minutes of that accidental discharge, Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally/negligently discharged a round from his weapon inside a cabin on the set, nearby, as confirmed and reported by the LA Times on November 20.”
According to the lawsuit, Sarah is Sarah Zachry, who has hired “as Props Manager and she was responsible for obtaining and maintaining all movie props for Rust.” Along with Zachry, the suit details that “production also hired Sarah’s future sister in law, Nicole Montoya, as props assistant.”
Following this negligent discharge by Zachry, Gutierrez-Reed claims that she confronted her colleague about the mishap, leading to an exchange with bullet and prop supplier Seth Kenney.
In response to Gutierrez-Reed’s concerns about the aforementioned misfires, the filing references a text message sent by Kenney that read: “Accidental discharges are accidents. … We learn and move on, and don’t forget, she’s your boss. Don’t push it.”
On the day of Hutchins’ killing, the lawsuit asserts, “At approximately 10:00 a.m., Hannah, Sarah and Nicole loaded Alec Baldwin’s gun, and two other guns for use in scenes that day, with dummy rounds from the full dummy round box found that morning in the prop truck.”
However, it also notes Gutierrez-Reed arrived to the film’s set on the morning of the fatal shooting, only to realise that colleague Sarah Zachry was already in the prop trailer retrieving firearms.
As described in the legal filing, the armourer discovered a box full of “dummy rounds .45 LC” that someone had placed on top of her equipment bag, which led Gutierrez-Reed to believe it came from Kenney.
“For Alec Baldwin’s gun, Hannah loaded 4 dummy rounds with holes in them from her pants pocket, a 5th dummy round from the box with a hole in it and attempted to load a 6th dummy round without a hole in it from the box but it would not go into the chamber, and she thought the chamber might need to be cleaned. Hannah remembers shaking the 6th round to ensure herself that it was a dummy round” the document further claimed.
Baldwin was handed the gun from 10 am through 12:30 pm, claims the lawsuit filed against the ammo dealer, specifying that the gun was later stored until 1:30 pm until, after the crew’s lunch break.
Following the lunch break, the guns were pulled out of a safe where they had been placed and put on a cart. The lawsuit does detail that the guns were left unattended for 5 minutes.
It states, “Hannah had to step away for a brief period and asked Sarah and Nicole to watch the guns. When she came back she noticed that the two had wandered some feet away and the guns were unattended for perhaps 5 minutes.”
However, upon returning Hannah cleaned the one chamber and took another bullet from a box labeled dummy rounds and placed it in the chamber of the gun.
“To the best of Hannah’s knowledge, the gun was now loaded with 6 dummy rounds. Indeed, Defendants as suppliers of prop ammunition to the Rust set, sold, distributed, and advertised its props as dummy ammunition and not live rounds,” the filing stated.
It continued, “Hannah relied upon and trusted that Defendants would only supply dummy prop ammunition, or blanks, and no live rounds were ever to be on set.”
Later, the suit details the gun was needed for a scene inside the church, “Hannah brought the gun to AD Halls inside the Church. Hannah spun the cylinder for Halls and showed him the 6 loaded dummy rounds. Baldwin was not inside the Church.”
“Halls then took custody of the weapon and was inside the Church sitting in a pew. There were multiple people inside the Church,” states the lawsuit.
Gutierrez-Reed then faults Rust assistant director David Halls for not following protocol. She claims that Halls did not call her to inspect the gun before handing it to Alec Baldwin.
The suit claims, “Hannah told Halls to let her know if Baldwin came back so that she could come back inside the Church and re-inspect the weapon and provide it to Baldwin herself as she had done every time before on set. Her point was that if plans were to change for use of the gun to be more than just ‘sitting in’ status, Hannah needed to be called back into the Church.”
“Knowing that no gun scene was going on at that time according to [David] Halls, and with awareness of COVID protocols and social distancing, Hannah then walked outside the church to prepare her fanny pack for scenes that afternoon and to do some of her prop duties,” the claim elaborated.
The lawsuit added, “Production was behind that day and Hannah was acutely aware of the need to attend to her prop duties as well, for scenes that afternoon. Thereafter, Hannah did not see the weapon, nor did she have custody of it for approximately 15 minutes.”
It goes on to note, “Sometime in that approximate 15-minute period, AD Halls gave the firearm to Alec Baldwin, calling out ‘cold gun,’ which signified that the firearm was empty or contained
only inert dummy ammunition. Hannah was not inside the Church and out of earshot and did not hear this called out by Halls.”
The suit specifically faults Halls, “No one from production including Halls told Hannah that Baldwin was back and that he was going to rehearse a gun scene inside the Church.”
“It was protocol for Halls to tell Hannah when ‘first team’ including Baldwin was back on scene to film. This was not a scheduled rehearsal and neither Halls nor anyone else called out a rehearsal,” the suit adds.
It also places blame on Baldwin noting that he did not attend a request to attend a cross draw training session on October 15, and that he should not have been aiming the firearm at Hutchins.
“Had Hannah been called back in, she would have re-inspected the weapon, and every round again, and instructed Baldwin on safe gun practice with the cross draw, as was her standard
practice on set and under circumstances where: (1) Baldwin did not respond to Hannah’s request on October 15 to schedule cross draw training and (2) the gun had been out of her
possession for 15 minutes,” it states.
The suit continues, “Hannah would never have let Baldwin point the weapon at Halyna, as part of standard safe gun practices. Apparently, no one inside the Church stopped Baldwin from doing so, including AD Halls.”
In his now-infamous interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin explained that he was practicing his cross-draw when the gun “went off” without him allegedly pulling the trigger, killing Hutchins and injuring Souza.
“It wasn’t in the script for the trigger to be pulled. Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” the actor said. “This was a completely incidental shot, an angle that might not have ended up in the film at all. But we kept doing this.”
He went on, “So then I said to her, ‘Now, in this scene I’m going to cock the gun.’ And I said, ‘Do you want to see that?’ And she said yes, and I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off. I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off.”
Script supervisor for Rust, Mamie Mitchell, has also filed a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin — as well as Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls, amongst others — claiming that the actor “intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of the firearm.”
What do you make of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filing a lawsuit against Alec baldwin over the killing of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.