The armourer on the movie set where Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer is a former actress and model, and daughter of a legendary Hollywood gun expert who “grew up with guns”.
Hannah Gutierrez, 24, spoke last month about how she had completed her first film as head armourer – a Western called The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage.
She told the Voices of the West podcast that the movie had been a “really cool, really badass way to start off a long and cool career, I’m hoping”.
She said: “It was also my first time being head armourer as well. You know, I was really, 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.”
Under her father’s tutelage
Ms Gutierrez said she had thought about being an actress and had done modelling, but gravitated towards gun work.
Her father, Thell Reed, is a former exhibition shooter who won fast draw tournaments.
Gene Autry, the singer and actor, took him under his wing.
According to his IMDb profile, Mr Reed was soon “performing for not only Hollywood royalty, but the British crown as well”.
He went on to work on the TV series Gunsmoke, and films including Tombstone, The Quick and the Dead and L.A. Confidential.
He worked with actors including Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt to help them achieve realistic gun handling.
Ms Gutierrez said she had been the tutelage of her father “since birth”.
She told the podcast: “Dad’s been teaching me a little bit since I was 16, we really got more into the stuff in the last couple of years.”
She had wanted to work with cameras and lighting.
But she said: “I tried it with dad one time and noticed I had a natural knack for it, growing up with guns my whole life.
“Now I’ve got to realise: ‘Oh my god, this is a pretty sweet gig.’ I thought I wanted to be an actress but it’s not really my schtick.”
Ms Gutierrez said she had been an apprentice on movies with her father.
“He took me from being completely green and taught me everything I know so far and by all means, I am still learning,” she said.
“Dad has taught me everything but a lot of things I just kind of caught on by myself through observation, watching him do things or just knowing how the firearms work.”
She added: “You know, I think loading blanks was the scariest thing to me because I was like: ‘Oh I don’t know anything about it.’
“But you know, he taught me that and eventually, by the time I was trying to figure out how to make a specific blank go when you want it to rather than it hitting the empty cylinders and everything, I figured that out on my own.”
She said Mr Cage had been “very nice” on the set of The Old Way and added that on the last day on set “he was pretty whacky and kind of fun actually”.
On what guns she likes to shoot, she said: “I like using the rifles a little more, I think they’re fun, I love the lever action.
“I like a regular Peacemaker for shooting with, that’s my bread and butter.
“I’m getting really pretty good at quick draw, my dad’s been teaching me.”
The gun which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was one of three that Ms Gutierrez had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted, according to the records.
Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Mr Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.
It was unclear how many rounds were fired.
Halls did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment. The Associated Press was unable to contact Ms Gutierrez, and several messages sent to production companies affiliated with the film were not immediately returned Friday.
The film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, said she was standing next to Ms Hutchins when she was shot and described what happened.
“I ran out and called 911 and said: ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,”‘ Ms Mitchell told The Associated Press.
“This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.”
Ms Mitchell said she and other crew members were attending a private memorial service Friday night in Santa Fe.
Mr Baldwin described the killing as a “tragic accident”.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Mr Baldwin wrote on Twitter.
“I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
No immediate charges were filed, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was permitted to travel.
“He’s a free man,” Rios said.
Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days a week.Internet Explorer Channel Network