The shooting on Alec Baldwin’s movie set has raised a lot of troubling questions about safety procedures and whether they were being followed. As we reported, part of the crew walked off the set with concerns about conditions. Among those concerns were gun safety on the set. There was also a report of three accidental firings of prop guns. So, one has to wonder why there wasn’t a full-on investigation from that alone, if true, and why they continued filming without apparently clearing up the issues.
But, if that wasn’t bad enough, it gets worse.
According to a new report, the prop gun that Baldwin used, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza, was being used for fun on the set, and basically, target practice during off-the-clock gatherings. That could explain how real ammo found its way into the gun, if, in fact, it was live ammunition.
Also very problematic, another report that when police came to the set, they found real ammo and blank rounds being stored in the same area. If that’s true, that’s another problem that could have led to a mistake and again, something that never should have happened.
Those reports have not been confirmed by officials.
The reports, if true, indicate some real problems with the way weapons and ammunition were being handled on the set.
There are also more reports of concerns about the young, head armorer, who was in charge of the weapons on the set.
According to the Daily Beast, on her first job as head armorer, Nicholas Cage’s movie, ‘The Old Way,’ Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, gave a gun to an 11-year-old actress without checking it properly for safety. “Rust” was Gutierrez-Reed’s second job as a head armorer.
“She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff,” one source told the outlet. “We didn’t see her check it, we didn’t know if something got in the barrel or not.”
Gutierrez-Reed reportedly handed the gun to child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, forcing concerned crew members to intervene, the report said. The gun was then checked for barrel obstruction, according to the sources.
“She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again,” a source said.
“There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe.”
Filming was temporarily halted because of the incident, according to the report.
A “Rust” production source also described Gutierrez-Reed as “inexperienced and green.”
As we previously reported, Gutierrez-Reed appeared on a podcast last month, in which she expressed concerns about her own experience.
They’ll ultimately figure out exactly what happened when they conclude the investigation. But it’s already clear from these reports, if true, that there were significant issues that should not have happened, that they should have been aware of problems but don’t appear to have taken action to address them. That’s a glaring red flag when it comes to possible questions of liability.