May 20, 2024

On Wednesday, a New Mexico jury returned a guilty verdict on manslaughter charges for Hannah Gutierrez, the armorer on the set of the movie “Rust.” During preparation for shooting on that film in October of 2021, actor Alec Baldwin pointed a replica Colt revolver at two people, firing a live round that wounded director Joel Souza and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

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Following the verdict, the presiding judge ordered Gutierrez taken into custody.

Ten days of testimony had focused on whether the relatively inexperienced armorer endangered fellow crew and cast members in her handling and supervision of firearms on the low-budget production set in New Mexico.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ordered that Gutierrez be taken into custody immediately. She faces up to 18 months in state prison.

As deputies led her from the courtroom, Gutierrez told her mother, “I’ll be okay.”

Jurors, who reached their decision in just three hours, acquitted Gutierrez on a second charge of evidence tampering.


Previously on RedState: Alec Baldwin Takes Surprise Action in ‘Rust’ Shooting Case 

BREAKING: Charges Announced Against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust’ Shooting


This case presented several textbook mistakes in gun handling.

Just after lunch on Oct. 21, 2021, Gutierrez mistakenly loaded a live round into a reproduction Colt .45 revolver that actor Alec Baldwin was using inside a movie-set church outside Santa Fe. 

Baldwin cocked the gun, pointed it toward the camera and it fired one live bullet that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. Baldwin denies having pulled the trigger. His own manslaughter trial is set for July 10.

“This case is about constant, never-ending safety failures that resulted in the death of a human being and nearly killed another,” said New Mexico state special prosecutor Kari Morrissey in her closing statements earlier Wednesday.

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The parade of poor gun handling that led to the fatal shooting:

  1. Gutierrez did not properly verify the nature of the cartridge loaded into the revolver, leading to a live round being loaded instead of a prop round.
  2. Baldwin broke three primary rules of safe gun handling: Always treat every gun as if it is loaded (with live ammo), never point a gun at anything you do not wish to destroy, and keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
  3. Live ammo was kept on the set alongside dummy ammo, and even at one point, a live round was visible in a bandolier worn by Alec Baldwin.

During the trial, “Rust” crew members testified that: 

…safety meetings were skipped, that Gutierrez sometimes failed to check whether weapons were loaded, and that Baldwin broke basic firearms safety rules.

The notoriously anti-gun Alec Baldwin, who fired the fatal shot, is scheduled to stand trial for manslaughter beginning July 10th. As anyone acquainted with the rules of gun handling is aware, the ultimate responsibility, in this case, is Baldwin’s – the gun was in his hands, and he did not understand the status of that gun; he pointed it in the direction of another person and he pulled the trigger.

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It is also important to note that, the actor’s activism notwithstanding, at least 80 million law-abiding American gun owners have killed fewer people with a gun than Alec Baldwin.

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