Veteran Armorer Warned of Red Flags on “Rust” Set Before Tragedy


Neal W. Zoromski, a seasoned armorer with three decades of experience, was initially excited to work on the western film “Rust” starring Alec Baldwin. However, his enthusiasm quickly turned to concern as he became aware of the production’s tight schedule and lack of preparation.

“I felt that they were being extremely loose and rather cavalier with cementing this position on the crew,” Zoromski said in an exclusive interview with Truth Voices. “I voiced my concerns and requested a staff of five trained gunsmiths and armorers, but right before I left for the airport, I got an email saying they had reduced my staff to three.”

Zoromski ultimately declined the job, citing his concerns about the production’s safety and lack of experience. In his response, he warned the team about the risks they were taking and urged them to do the job safely and properly.

Weeks later, Zoromski heard the devastating news that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins had been killed in an accident on the “Rust” set, and Baldwin was holding the gun. Zoromski was heartbroken and knew that he had been right to be concerned about the production’s safety.

“I knew of armorer Hannah-Gutierrez-Reed, who was hired after I left the film,” Zoromski said. “She was over her head from the moment she took the job. She didn’t completely check the gun that was given to Baldwin to make sure it didn’t contain live rounds.”

Zoromski criticized Gutierrez-Reed’s conduct on set, saying that the ammo cart was in disarray and that she seemed inexperienced and careless. He also expressed doubt that Baldwin would have pulled the trigger without someone else’s assistance, given that he was a seasoned actor and producer.

“I believe that he did [pull the trigger],” Zoromski said. “He did pull the trigger because it’s a revolver. And in order for that bullet to come down and be struck by the firing pin, you have to pull the trigger.”

Zoromski also believes that Baldwin knew corners were being cut on the set and that he would have been aware of his reasons for turning down the job.

“If Mr. Baldwin is a seasoned actor, he should have refused that from anyone other than the armorer,” Zoromski said. “He is a producer. He’s an executive producer. He’s the star of the movie. So regardless of whether he was a laissez-faire or a hands-off producer, he would have been advised of all of those personnel changes.”

Brian Entin
Brian Entin
Senior National Correspondent.

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