The gunsmith who was responsible for handling guns for the movie “Rust” in New Mexico, where Alec Baldwin killed a cinematographer last year, filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing a gun and ammunition supplier for introducing “dangerous” materials on the board.
In the lawsuit, the gunsmith, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, said Seth Kenney and his company, PDQ Arm & Prop, provided the box – labeled “dummy bullets” – which, in fact, contained at least one live bullet, who discharged a weapon Baldwin was training with on October 21 last year. The dump killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured filmmaker Joel Souza.
“Hannah and the entire ‘Rust’ film crew relied on the defendants’ false statement that they provided only dummy ammunition,” according to the lawsuit documents filed in state court in New Mexico.
According to the lawsuit, which named Mr. Kenney and his company, he had worked with Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s father, Thell Reed, a prominent Hollywood gunsmith, on another film set in Texas about a month or two before. the murderous shooting.
Mr Kenney had asked Mr Reed to help train actors to fire live ammunition at a staggered range, according to the lawsuit. Subsequently, Mr. Kenney took ammunition, including live ammunition Mr. Reed had provided for training, he said.
What happened on the set of “Rust”
According to court documents filed by a detective in the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office last year, Mr Reed said the live ammunition used on the firing range may be the same ones that ended up on the set. “Rust”.
Lawyers for Ms Gutierrez-Reed said in the lawsuit that Mr Kenney and Albuquerque’s PDQ Arm & Prop had “distributed boxes of ammunition believed to contain dummy bullets, but which contained a mixture of production dummy and live bullets. from Rust “.
They “knew or should have reasonably believed that the ammunition they supplied to Rust’s production would be used in the filming of scenes involving firearm discharges,” the file said.
Mr. Kenney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His role as a supplier of blanks and dummy bullets for production, and whether he also sent live bullets, are already under investigation by law enforcement officials. in New Mexico.
In November, a warrant was issued to search Mr. Kenney’s business. According to an affidavit in the case, “Rust” props manager Sarah Zachry told detectives that some of the ammunition came from Mr. Kenney, while others came from a previous production on which Ms. Gutierrez- Reed had worked and “a person identified as ‘Billy Ray’.”
At the time, Mr. Kenney, who also did business in Arizona and California, said he was convinced he wasn’t the originator of any live rounds.
“It is not possible that they come from the PDQ or from me personally”, he said in an interview with “Good Morning America,” adding that his company’s dummy cartridges are “individually tested” before sending (when shaken, dummy cartridges will vibrate, unlike live cartridges).
In the latest trial, lawyers for Ms Gutierrez-Reed described the steps she took to verify the gun was safe before it was later turned over to Baldwin. “Hannah remembered the chamber that she thought needed to be cleaned in Baldwin’s gun and she cleaned it, then Hannah took another cartridge out of the dummy box, shook it, and took it out. placed in the chamber, ”the court documents said. “To the best of Hannah’s knowledge, the gun was now loaded with 6 dummy cartridges.”
Ms Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney has previously said that she held two positions on the “Rust” set – gunsmith and incidental assistant – which made it difficult for her to focus fully on her gunsmith job. The lawsuit, which characterized the “Rust” ensemble as having a “rushed and chaotic atmosphere,” noted that Ms. Gutierrez-Reed was to be paid approximately $ 7,500 for the two jobs combined.
Ms Gutierrez-Reed has been named as one of many defendants in separate lawsuits filed by two ‘Rust’ crew members who claimed she failed to follow proper security measures as a gunsmith. and that at 24, she did not have enough experience to supervise weapons on the set.
Mr Kenney and his company said the “props were dummy cartridges and safe and effective products for use on a film set when in fact they were dangerous live cartridges and should never have been used. ‘to be on a film set,’ lawyers for Ms Gutierrez-Reed said in court papers.