‘Rust’ armorer’s father, Thell Reed, speaks out on fatal incident and investigation
Information about ‘Rust’ armorer’s father, Thell Reed, speaks out on fatal incident and investigation
Sharpshooter and movie consultant Thell Reed said he’s not concerned about the possibility that his 24-year-old daughter, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, could go to jail.
Gutierrez-Reed was in charge of all weapons on the set of the film “Rust.” On Oct. 21, actor Alec Baldwin was holding an antique revolver during a dress rehearsal for “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, when the prop gun discharged a live round, killing the film’s cinematographer, 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, and injuring the director, 48-year-old Joel Souza, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation into the fatal incident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told ABC News that his office has “not ruled out anyone in this case.” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has previously said “everything is on the table” and that any decision to bring charges could take weeks or months.
“The sheriff’s department will get to the bottom of this. I’m not worried about that at all,” Reed told ABC News’ Kaylee Hartung in an exclusive interview airing Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”
Baldwin, who was starring in and co-produced the Western film, told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an earlier exclusive interview that he “didn’t pull the trigger.”
According to the sheriff’s office, an initial investigation determined that two other people had handled or inspected the loaded gun before it discharged — the film’s armorer, Gutierrez-Reed, and the first assistant director, Dave Halls.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, said his client had no idea where the live rounds came from and that she was not in the church where rehearsal was taking place.
“She had two duties: prop duties and armor duties,” Bowles told ABC News in the interview airing Tuesday. “She had spun the cylinder, she had given it to Halls, she had shown him each of the six rounds. Halls was going to take custody of that weapon. He was inside the church then, Hannah was outside the church having to do her prop duties.”
Reed said he “didn’t like” that his daughter was having to take on both roles of armorer and prop assistant, and that “she complained about it, too.”
According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed on Oct. 22 by the sheriff’s office as part of the ongoing probe, Halls handed a Colt .45 revolver to Baldwin while proclaiming “cold gun,” to let the crew know a gun with no live rounds was being used. Halls told investigators he did not know there were any live rounds in the firearm he gave to the actor, according to the affidavit.
Baldwin confirmed the series of events to ABC News.
“I let go of the hammer — bang, the gun goes off,” the actor recalled in an earlier exclusive interview. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never. That was the training that I had. You don’t point a gun at somebody and pull the trigger.”
Halls’ attorney, Lisa Torraco, would not confirm that her client was the one who handed the gun to Baldwin, but she told ABC News in an earlier interview that Halls was on set when the firearm discharged.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney said it was the first time during the production of “Rust” that his client did not personally hand the gun to Baldwin.
Reed said his daughter should have been called into the church for the rehearsal and that if she had, the tragedy could have been avoided.
“That one time they should have had her on set, she would’ve rechecked that gun,” he told ABC News. “If there was a live round placed there, she would’ve found it.”
“She knows what to do,” he added. “She does the job as good as I do now.”
Reed has worked as an armorer or weapons specialist on the set of a number of films, such as “Tombstone,” “Django: Unchained,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” His daughter followed in his footsteps and was hired to work on “Rust.” It was only the second movie that Gutierrez-Reed was brought on to serve as the lead armorer.
“She didn’t need anymore training, she’s got me,” Reed told ABC News.
Both Reed and his daughter’s attorney said they believe sabotage was behind the fatal incident.
“Sabotage is the most likely possibility, probability,” Bowles told ABC News. “Somebody wanted to cause a safety incident on set. Nobody wanted anybody to be killed. We developed evidence of motive for that — why they might’ve wanted to do that, why Hannah might’ve been a target — and that’s all gone to the sheriff and we’re asking for that to be completed before any decisions are made on charging.”