January 17, 20220

Although the investigation into the “Rust” set shooting is still ongoing, the film’s armorer filed a lawsuit last week against the production’s ammunition supplier in what appears to be an attempt to, yet again, shift blame elsewhere. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old armorer who was in charge of all the film’s weapons, filed the lawsuit in New Mexico alleging that PDQ Arm and Prop LLC and its founder Seth Kenney are liable for the live rounds that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The suit claims that the ammunition was “misrepresented” as only containing dummy rounds, and Gutierrez-Reed is seeking compensation for the damages she faced because of said misrepresentations. Custodio & Dubey LLP co-founder and personal injury attorney Miguel Custodio has been quoted frequently on this incident, from when the shooting happened in late October to Alec Baldwin’s sit-down interview in early December. After news broke of this newest lawsuit, Custodio’s analysis was featured in The Washington Post. Taking into account what happened before the gun was discharged in Alec Baldwin’s hands, Custodio pointed out the weaknesses in Gutierrez-Reed’s complaint: “Her complaint doesn’t make sense. Dummy rounds look different from live ammo – they have a dimple in the bottom, which you should see and feel when you load a prop gun. And why was she not in the church? You don’t load a gun with rounds, then peace out, especially when you know Baldwin didn’t have any training on that cross-draw move.” Gutierrez-Reed’s lack of experience and training as an armorer has played a significant role in public debate surrounding who is to blame for the tragedy. In December her father, Thell Reed, a widely respected veteran Hollywood armorer, spoke to ABC News in an unsuccessful attempt to assure his daughter’s familiarity with film safety. “She didn’t need any more training, she’s got me,” said Thell Reed. Custodio provided his perspective on the importance of her having adequate experience for this position. “She says Baldwin did not respond to her request to take part in that cross-draw training session. As the armorer she needed to stand firm and demand he do so, whether or not he was her boss, even if he took a chance on hiring her knowing she was relatively inexperienced. And obviously her inexperience was on full display here.” To try to make sense of this lawsuit, Custodio posed the question: “Is she trying to say the ammo provider went and changed out the bullets just because he had access?” He continued, “At the end of the day, she’s the one in charge of every single gun on the set. And it’s not as if the ammo supplier was lurking about in the church from the time she gave the gun to Halls to when Baldwin shot Hutchins.” “This just pokes holes in her defense. I don’t see how this helps her,” said Custodio. Read previous developments on Fox NewsInsider and more, which you can find here on Custodio & Dubey LLP.