Filming of Rust | Inspector raises several safety violations

(Santa Fe) A movie weapons supervisor’s complaints to her superiors went unheeded as she sought more time and resources to carry out her security duties on the set of the western film Rustwhere actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed a female cinematographer, a workplace safety investigator testified at trial Tuesday.

Defense lawyers for gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed called the detective among their first witnesses to refute claims of manslaughter in the shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal in October 2021.

Lorenzo Montoya of the New Mexico Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health conducted a six-month investigation into the event and investigated whether officials affiliated with the production of Rust complied with state workplace safety regulations.

Its inspection resulted in a scathing description of safety lapses in violation of standard industry protocols, including observations that weapons specialists were not authorized to make decisions about additional safety training and did not respond to M’s complaintsme Gutierrez-Reed.

The report also found that officials took little or no action to address two botched shootings on set before the fatal event and requested to provide more training.

Defense lawyers argue that Mme Gutierrez-Reed, who has pleaded not guilty, is unfairly made the scapegoat for problems beyond his control on the set of Rustincluding Mr. Baldwin’s handling of weapons on the set of the western in 2021.

Mr. Montoya said that Gutierrez-Reed’s request for more resources as an armorer went unheeded.

“Rust Movie Productions has identified a danger,” said Mr. Montoya. They have adopted gun safety policies, but they have completely failed to enforce them, train their employees on them, practice them, and refer to them. Nothing. They adopted him, and it stopped at the word adoption. Nothing more happened. »

As a counterpoint to those findings, prosecutors previously presented testimony from producer Gabrielle Pickle that she addressed gun safety concerns on the set of Rust by allowing more days – 10 days, instead of five – for Mme Gutierrez-Reed focuses on her duties as a gunsmith, in lieu of other responsibilities in the accessories department.

Prosecutors argue that Mme Gutierrez-Reed is responsible for unintentionally bringing live ammunition onto set and flouting basic safety protocols for handling weapons.

Dozens of witnesses spoke during a trial that began with jury selection on Feb. 21, including eyewitnesses to the shooting, FBI evidence analysts, an ammunition supplier for Rust and the director who was injured during the event and survived.

Mr. Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer of Rustwas separately indicted by a grand jury last month for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of Mme Hutchins. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled for July.

Mr. Baldwin pointed the gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal on set outside Santa Fe when the gun went off, killing the cinematographer and injuring director Joel Souza.

Rust Movie Productions paid a $100,000 fine to resolve workplace safety issues found by the state.

A second charge of tampering with evidence against Mme Gutierrez-Reed stems from accusations that she handed a small bag containing possible narcotics to another team member after the shooting to avoid detection.


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