‘Rust’ prosecutors allege gun wrangler hid cocaine to avoid prosecution after fatal on-set shooting

The set of "Rust" at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M.
The Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Santa Fe, N.M., where a cinematographer was accidentally shot and killed during a rehearsal for “Rust.”
(Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)
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Prosecutors in New Mexico have alleged that armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed passed cocaine to someone else to avoid scrutiny of her handling of weapons on the “Rust” film set where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed.

In a new filing in New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District Court, prosecutors said a witness could testify that Gutierrez Reed transferred a “small bag of cocaine” to them following the fatal shooting of Hutchins in October 2021.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of “Rust” in October 2021. A judge dismissed the involuntary manslaughter case against star Alec Baldwin in July 2024.

July 17, 2024

The prosecutors allege the armorer did so to avoid prosecution and prevent law enforcement from obtaining evidence that could determine her handling of firearms and the circumstances of the accidental shooting.


Prosecutors did not identify the witness, saying they will be “blacklisted from the film industry” for coming forward.

The allegation is the latest development in the newly appointed prosecutors’ attempts to bring charges in the “Rust” case. Gutierrez Reed is the sole remaining defendant after charges against Alec Baldwin were dropped.

Earlier this month, the prosecutors charged the armorer with evidence tampering for allegedly passing drugs to someone else on the day of the shooting — without revealing more details.

“A secret witness appears 20 months later? With no actual corroboration or evidence? And the state won’t identify the person? This is a throwback to the secret, star chamber prosecutions in England in the 15th century that were abolished,” said Gutierrez Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles in an emailed statement. “Like everything else with the state’s case and investigation, it’s full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.”

Gutierrez Reed is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors have been scrutinizing her behavior on set of the film on the day of the fatal shooting.

Earlier this month, prosecutors alleged Gutierrez Reed was likely hungover when she loaded a live bullet into Baldwin’s revolver before the fatal shooting. The accusation was leveled after an attempt by her attorneys to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charges against her, saying they were without merit.


In April, prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Baldwin in the “Rust” shooting after receiving new information about the gun in the case.