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‘Rust’ armorer’s criminal trial begins with dramatic audio of shooting victims, photos of live ammo on set – Fox News

Published February 23, 2024 By admin

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s trial over the fatal “Rust” movie shooting began Thursday with dramatic audio of the shooting victims and accusations of “sloppy” safety protocols.Gutierrez-Reed worked as the armorer on the set of “Rust” when the fatal shooting occurred Oct. 21, 2021 at Bonanza Creek Ranch. Right before the shooting, actor Alec Baldwin had been practicing a cross draw when the gun he was holding fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. The armorer, who was 24 at the time, was not in the church during the shooting.In bodycam footage shown in court Thursday, someone can be heard speaking to Hutchins, who had a chest wound from the shooting.”Deep breath, Halyna,” an unknown female voice said. “Deep breath. There you go, good girl.”

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in court for the second day of the “Rust” criminal trial. (Court TV)Souza, who was shot in the shoulder, can also be heard crying out in pain, “Ah f—, f—,” in the background of the footage. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Tim Benavidez testified the yelling came from Souza.Jurors also saw footage of Gutierrez-Reed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The armorer spent most of her time inside Benavidez’ patrol car after providing the officer with the gun that killed Hutchins.”Oh my god. F—. Are they OK?” Gutierrez-Reed asked in the footage before telling another crew member, “I’ve already been yelled at ….””I’m so scared. Here’s the box that I got [the ammo] out of,” she told Benavidez while beginning to cry.

“Just take deep breaths and relax,” the lieutenant told Gutierrez-Reed.”Where the f— are these entry wounds,” Gutierrez-Reed asked at another point in the footage. “Does anyone know if she’s OK?”She asked the officer if she was “arrested” as he instructed her into his patrol car, where she began to have a panic attack. Benavidez asked a medic to care for Gutierrez-Reed, who was crying hysterically and hyperventilating. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in bodycam video answering a deputy’s questions after the fatal shooting Oct. 21, 2021. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)

In opening statements, prosecutors accused the armorer of being “unprofessional and sloppy” and “negligent” on the Western film set, directly causing the death of Hutchins. Special prosecutor Jason Lewis showed a photograph of Gutierrez-Reed holding a gun on set and claimed live rounds could be spotted in the corner of the photo. The armorer is seemingly unaware that the rounds are live ammo. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed holds a gun on the set of “Rust.” (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts) A photograph, obtained by prosecutors, shows alleged live rounds in Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s lap as she takes a photo with a gun. (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts)”We found a photograph where there was one occasion where a live round was sitting right in Ms. Gutierrez’s lap, and she failed to identify it,” Lewis told the jury.The prosecution also claimed Gutierrez-Reed was the crew member who brought the live ammo to the set in the first place, an issue that has long plagued the two-year investigation.”The box of dummies [Gutierrez-Reed] was pulling from on the 21st is identical to the box of dummies that her father had at home,” Lewis said in court. “So, we believe this is more evidence that this box of dummies with the live round in it came from the defendant.” A photograph showing one live round amid dummy ammo on the set of “Rust.” (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts)

Gutierrez-Reed’s defense blamed Baldwin and the production company behind “Rust” for the fatal shooting and that his client has been used as a “scapegoat.””You will hear that Hollywood actors are not allowed to point guns, real guns at other actors or crew,” Jason Bowles told the jury. “It’s … like every other safety with guns in any other place in society. You learn these rules and go into the classes. You learn these rules if you’ve ever owned a gun. Rule No. 1: Never point a firearm at somebody unless you intend to shoot them. And that rule was broken.”

Bowles also pointed out that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concluded there were “several safety errors” on the “rushed set.””When the state talks about Ms. Gutierrez-Reed being negligent, what really happened?” the lawyer said. “Production was negligent … and put her in that position. They put her in the position of having two jobs — a props assistant and an armorer — and expected a 24-year-old, under really tough conditions, to keep up with everything that was going on.”Gutierrez-Reed appeared in court Thursday for the second day of her involuntary manslaughter trial. The armorer has also been charged with evidence tampering after allegedly handing off a bag of cocaine on the day of the shooting. Jury selection began Wednesday and took a full day. Out of 70 possible jurors, seven men and five women were selected. A view of the church at Bonanza Creek Ranch captured on bodycam footage. (Courtesy: New Mexico Courts)Baldwin has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The actor’s trial date has not been set.On Thursday, the family of late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins earned a legal victory when Baldwin lost his bid to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit brought by her family.

“Today is a win for Halyna’s family. At today’s hearing in our civil case, the court affirmed the obvious — that grieving families have a right to pursue loss of consortium damages related to the death of their loved one under New Mexico law — which will be enforced in California courts against Baldwin and “Rust” producers,” Gloria Allred said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. “Based on today’s ruling, we embrace the opportunity to amend our complaint to provide more facts regarding the truth, that the relationships between Halyna and her family have always been the kind of sufficiently close and mutually beneficial relationships recognized under the law of New Mexico.”

SOURCE: Fox News


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