April 18, 2024

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Armorer sentenced in fatal shooting incident on film set

Armorer who passed a live gun to Alec Baldwin leading to a fatal shooting is jailed for 18 months.

Rust shooting

CREDIT: Barry King/Alamy Stock Photo

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 26, was found guilty in March of involuntary manslaughter after cinematographer Halnya Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot on the set of the film Rust in 2021.

The prison sentence, handed down by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer at a New Mexico court on Monday (15 April), is the maximum possible.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez-Reed failed to ensure the gun was only loaded with dummy rounds. Presented evidence suggested that Gutierrez-Reed was “sloppy” and “unprofessional”, which led to live ammunition making its way into the gun fired by Mr. Baldwin. Jurors were shown boxes the prosecution said contained live rounds interspersed with dummy ones.

“You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon”

It was alleged that the defendant brought live bullets to the set that day, one of which killed Ms. Hutchins. “This case is about never-ending safety failures that resulted in the death of a human being,” said Prosecutor Kari T Morrissey.

The jury deliberated for three hours before reaching their verdict. In her remarks while sentencing Judge Marlowe Sommer said: “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon. But for you, Ms Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother.”

Gutierrrez-Reed’s defence had argued that Mr. Baldwin’s “off-script” actions had led to the incident. “It was not in the script for Mr Baldwin to point the weapon,” Jason Bowles said. “She didn’t know that Mr Baldwin was going to do what he did.”

Mr. Baldwin, 65, has pleaded not guilty to the same charges and faces trial in July.

According to research by the Associated Press, more than 150 people have been left with life-altering injuries from accidents occurring on US film sets since 1990.

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JOe Bloggs
JOe Bloggs
1 month ago

Must say I feel for all involved. Who in the hell smuggled ‘live’ ammo onto the set? Surely they are as guilty as the armorer in practice if not by law.

Moreover, as a bit of an amateur in this regard – how the hell is an armorer meant to visually determine a live round from a dummy one? Particularly if ‘realism’ has meant the ammo looks similar?