Jury Finds Armorer Guilty in Film Set Shooting by Baldwin

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed convicted of involuntary manslaughter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2024 5:55 PM CST
Jury Finds Armorer Guilty in Film Set Shooting by Baldwin
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed talks with her attorney Jason Bowles, right, and her defense team during her involuntary manslaughter trial Tuesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.   (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, Pool)

A jury convicted a movie weapons supervisor of involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal on the set of the Western movie Rust. The verdict against Hannah Gutierrez-Reed assigns new blame in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021 after an assistant director last year pleaded no contest to negligent handling of a firearm, the AP reports. Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer on Rust, was indicted in January on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was pointing a gun at Hutchins on a movie set outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, when it went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

Prosecutors at a two-week trial in downtown Santa Fe said Gutierrez-Reed unwittingly brought live ammunition onto the film set while flouting basic industry gun-safety guidelines. The involuntary manslaughter charge against Gutierrez-Reed carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. She also had faced a second charge, of evidence tampering, stemming from accusations that she handed a small bag of possible narcotics to another crew member after the shooting to avoid detection. The defendant was ordered to be taken into custody after the verdict was read. Gutierrez-Reed, 24, was working on her second feature film as armorer at the time of the shooting.

Prosecutors say Gutierrez-Reed unknowingly brought live ammunition onto the set at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. The proceedings were a preamble to the trial of Baldwin scheduled for July on a single charge of involuntary manslaughter. "We end exactly where we began—in the pursuit of justice for Halyna Hutchins," prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the jury in closing arguments. Defense attorneys said the problems on the set extended far beyond Gutierrez-Reed's control, including the mishandling of weapons by Baldwin.

(More shooting stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.