April 23, 2024

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Trial Set for Armourer in Fatal Rust Shooting of Cinematographer

Armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is set to stand trial for the tragic 2021 shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film Rust. The trial is scheduled to commence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this Wednesday.

Halyna Hutchins lost her life when a gun was discharged on the set of Rust near Santa Fe in October 2021. Gutierrez-Reed has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence, potentially facing up to three years in prison if convicted.

Despite attempts to dismiss the case, a judge ruled in favour of proceeding with the trial. Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin, the film’s lead actor, faced renewed manslaughter charges in January after initial charges were dropped due to new evidence emerging from forensic tests on the weapon involved in the shooting.

Baldwin, who maintains he did not pull the trigger of the gun and was unaware of live rounds, pleaded not guilty on January 31. The trial date for Baldwin’s case has not been set.

The tragic incident occurred during a scene rehearsal when a prop gun held by Baldwin discharged, fatally striking Hutchins. Baldwin, who was rehearsing firing a pistol, insists he did not pull the trigger and bears no responsibility for the incident, citing the absence of live ammunition protocol on set.

As the armourer responsible for firearms, Gutierrez-Reed faces scrutiny over how live ammunition found its way onto the film set. She was initially charged with manslaughter, with additional evidence tampering charges added due to the alleged withholding of information about the live rounds.

Despite the tragedy, Rust resumed filming in early 2023, with the movie yet to be released. The circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting have underscored the need for heightened safety protocols and accountability in film productions.