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Alec Baldwin ignored 'Rust' armorer's request to attend 'cross draw training' just days before the shooting, lawsuit says

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Actor Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin.Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic
  • The armorer for "Rust" is suing an ammo supplier, alleging live ammo was mixed with dummy rounds.

  • She said in her suit that Alec Baldwin did not respond when she tried to schedule firearms training.

  • New Mexico police are investigating the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on set.

The actor Alec Baldwin ignored a request to attend "cross draw training" just days before he fatally shot a cinematographer on the set of "Rust," a new lawsuit filed by the film's armorer alleges.

The armorer, the 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the film's ammo supplier, alleging the company's owner had mixed live and dummy rounds before providing ammunition to the film crew. The October 21 shooting remains under investigation by New Mexico authorities.

Gutierrez-Reed's lawsuit did not name Baldwin as a defendant or allege that he violated any laws. But her lawsuit appeared to cast some blame on the actor, saying he failed to attend training and pointing to his handling of the weapon. The lawsuit says Gutierrez-Reed asked Baldwin to schedule the training on October 15, less than a week before the fatal shooting but she never heard back from the actor.

A lawyer representing Baldwin didn't immediately respond Thursday to Insider's request for comment. New Mexico authorities have issued a search warrant for Baldwin's phone as part of their investigation.

Gutierrez-Reed's lawsuit says she was not inside the mock church when Baldwin shot the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the afternoon of October 21 because she believed that no gun-related rehearsing was underway. The suit adds that she also knew the film set's COVID-19 protocols advised against a large number of people crowding inside an enclosed space.

Set of the movie "Rust"
The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 23.Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

The lawsuit says no one called Gutierrez-Reed back into the church when Baldwin began rehearsing the scene, which involved a cross draw, even though her presence was required for any gun-related filming or rehearsing.

"Hannah did not see the weapon, nor did she have custody of it for approximately 15 minutes," the lawsuit says.

Inside that 15-minute window, Baldwin began practicing a "cross-draw," in which he would grab the gun from his shoulder holster with his opposite hand and withdraw it, the lawsuit says.

Hutchins also directed Baldwin to point the firearm in her direction during that window, the lawsuit says. It adds that Gutierrez-Reed would have never permitted Baldwin to point the firearm at Hutchins had she been inside the church.

"Had Hannah been called back in, she would have re-inspected the weapon, and every round again, and instructed Baldwin on safe gun practices with the cross draw, as was her standard practice on set and under circumstances where: (1) Baldwin did not respond to Hannah's request on October 15 to schedule cross draw training and (2) the gun had been out of her possession for 15 minutes," the lawsuit says.

The armorer recalled struggling to load the gun with what she believed were dummy rounds

Gutierrez-Reed's lawsuit also describes her role in the hours leading up to the shooting. It says she had personally loaded Baldwin's gun with dummy rounds, which could be distinguished from live ammunition by the visible holes in them.

"Hannah loaded 4 dummy rounds with holes in them from her pants pocket, a 5th dummy round from the box with a hole in it and attempted to load a 6th dummy round without a hole in it from the box but it would not go into the chamber, and she thought the chamber might need to be cleaned," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit adds that Gutierrez-Reed shook the sixth round "to ensure herself that it was a dummy round."

Gutierrez-Reed then gave Baldwin the gun just after 10 a.m., and "he had continuous possession of the gun with the 5 dummy rounds loaded into it" until the lunch break at 12:30 p.m., the lawsuit says. It adds that the armorer asked Baldwin roughly every 30 minutes, between scenes, whether he would like to give the gun back for safekeeping but that Baldwin said no each time.

rust set
A Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy talks to a security guard at the entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch on October 25.Associated Press/Jae C. Hong

After the lunch break, Gutierrez-Reed cleaned the sixth chamber of the gun and loaded it with another round from the dummy box, the lawsuit says.

"To the best of Hannah's knowledge, the gun was now loaded with 6 dummy rounds," it adds.

The lawsuit also suggests Gutierrez-Reed was overworked. She was given the titles of both armorer — in which she handled all firearm-related props — and key prop assistant.

"The Rust script was a very 'gun heavy' western script, with guns needed on 10 of the 12 film days leading up to October 21, and gunfire on at least half of the shooting days," the lawsuit says. "This gun heavy script required Hannah to perform a significant amount of work each day as both an armorer and key props assistant."

Gutierrez-Reed was paid a total of $7,500 to perform both jobs, according to the lawsuit.

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