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Total Fiasco: Armorer on Set of Alec Baldwin Movie Had Doubts About Her Abilities

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

It was an accident. That’s the narrative right now. The investigation is still ongoing, but the fatal accidental shooting on the set of Rust was totally avoidable. Alec Baldwin is at the center of this fiasco. He was reportedly practicing a stunt with a prop gun. The movie is a western. Gunplay was a given, but Baldwin appeared to have taken the word of the film’s assistant director who said the prop was a “cold gun.” Instead, it had a live round in it. The film’s director was injured. Its cinematographer was killed. 

Julio wrote about actor Adam Baldwin (no relation), who has handled scores of prop guns throughout his career, and his questions surrounding the shooting, specifically where was the armorer when this incident occurred. Wasn’t she supposed to be on set at the time? Was this a COVID protocol? And now we have reports that the film’s armorer wasn’t confident in her ability to properly load prop guns (via NY Post):

The Hollywood armorer who tended to the deadly weapon used by Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust” had expressed doubts about her skills and ability to load prop guns.

“You know, I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready … but, doing it, like, it went really smoothly,” Hannah Reed said last month in the Voices of the West podcast.

Reed, whose dad is well known Hollywood armorer Thell Reed, made the podcast appearance while working on the set of the Nicholas Cage movie “The Old Way.” That production just weeks ago marked her first time as a head armorer.

She was working this past week with Baldwin on “Rust” in New Mexico when the longtime actor killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza using a prop weapon.

Look, she might have had doubts, which isn’t good, but it also doesn’t mean that Baldwin shouldn’t have checked the gun prior or better yet—not point it at anyone and pulled the trigger. Always treat a firearm as if it’s loaded and never point it at anyone. These are basic tenets of safety that were not followed and never trust anyone who says a firearm is safe or unloaded. Always check for yourself. We’ll see what comes of the armorer’s remarks, but just watch as the media tries to bury Baldwin’s actions in this incident and pass the blame onto anyone else. 

This film also had the camera crew quit on the day of the incident, citing working conditions so disaster seemed to be inevitable here and it turned out to be a fatal one. 

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