'Rust' Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Was Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

"She does the job as good as I do now," said Gutierrez-Reed's stepfather, veteran armorer Thell Reed.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Mar. 7 2024, Updated 7:05 p.m. ET

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed
Source: Getty Images

On Oct. 21, 2021, at 1:49 p.m., "Santa Fe County emergency crews were summoned to Bonanza Creek Ranch in response to a shooting that would leave the entertainment industry reeling," reported the Los Angeles Times.

The cast and crew for the movie Rust were preparing themselves to film a scene that involved actor and producer Alec Baldwin firing a gun. "I guess I’m gonna take this out, pull it, and go, ‘Bang!" said Baldwin while putting his hand on top of a Colt .45 revolver in its holster.

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No one could have predicted what happened next, when a bullet tore through the chest of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, hitting the shoulder of director Joel Souza who stood behind her. "That was no good," said Hutchins. "That was no good at all." Hours later she would be pronounced dead. More than two years after that, the armorer responsible for checking the gun would stand trial for involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering. Where is Hannah Gutierrez-Reed now? Here's what we know.

Where is Hannah Gutierrez-Reed now? A jury found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Gutierrez-Reed's involuntary manslaughter trial began in February 2024 in Santa Fe, N.M., where Rust was being filmed. Prosecutors alleged that 26-year-old Gutierrez-Reed, who was 24 at the time of the shooting, "failed to properly review the ammunition in the gun" and have also "accused her of allowing live ammunition on-set," per Vulture.

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Jason Bowles in court on the first day of her involuntary manslaughter trial
Source: Getty Images

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (R) sits in court with her attorney Jason Bowles (L) during the first day of her trial at First District Court, in Santa Fe, N.M., on Feb. 22, 2024

On Feb. 27, 2024, jurors were shown a police interview from November 2021 wherein Gutierrez-Reed admits that the dummy bullets she was using were from a previous film she worked on a few weeks prior. "I went back through a bag that I had," she told authorities. "This bag had a bunch of loose dummies in it. I went through and I checked all of them, and I put them into two boxes … They were in my car for like two weeks." Evidently Gutierrez-Reed failed to see that one of those dummy bullets was a live round, per Variety.

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A little over a week later on March 6, after deliberating for less than three hours, a jury handed over a guilty verdict, per CNN. Gutierrez-Reed — who was found not guilty of evidence tampering — faces up to 18 months in prison.

As of the time of this writing, a sentencing date has not been scheduled. She is currently in custody awaiting sentencing.

In a press release issued by attorneys representing Hutchins’ parents and sister, they said they "look forward to the justice system continuing to make sure that everyone else who is responsible for Halyna’s death is required to face the legal consequences for their actions."

Gutierrez-Reed's lawyers argued the studio was putting the blame on her.

The prosecution claimed that the live rounds that made their way onto the set were a result of Gutierrez-Reed's incompetence. "She had six, six live rounds on that movie set, the earliest date that I can track them for you is Oct. 10 [2021]," said special prosecutor Kari Morrissey. "Six, and she failed to ferret them out for 12 days. What that means is that she wasn’t shaking any dummy rounds, she wasn’t testing anything."

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A still from a video clip featuring Alec Baldwin shown during the involuntary manslaughter trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed
Source: Getty Images

A still from a video clip featuring Alec Baldwin shown during the involuntary manslaughter trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed's lawyer, claimed that the production team made the film set chaotic, which then put Gutierrez-Reed under "really tough conditions to keep up with." He also referenced Baldwin's inability to follow gun safety protocol while on set.

Baldwin's trial begins in July 2024. The actor maintains he never pulled the gun's trigger.

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed's stepfather was also an armorer.

Gutierrez-Reed's stepfather is veteran Hollywood armorer Thell Reed who, according to IMDb, worked on nearly 50 movies including Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as well as Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead. While guesting on the Voices of the West podcast in 2021, Gutierrez-Reed said Reed taught her everything and took her from being "completely green," per The Hollywood Reporter. Reed had been bringing his stepdaughter to movie sets ever since she was a kid.

In December 2021, ABC News spoke with Reed about what happened on the set of Rust. He told the outlet he did not believe his stepdaughter would end up in prison. "The sheriff's department will get to the bottom of this," he said. Despite what happened, Reed says his stepdaughter was well-trained. "She does the job as good as I do now," he said.

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