‘Rust’ armorer sues supplier for ammunition on set


FILE – This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. A judge on Friday, Dec. 10, has decided that the assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin a prop gun that killed a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set must make himself available for an interview with state workplace safety regulators. Local news outlets reported that a district judge on Friday granted the state officials’ request to issue a subpoena to Dave Halls, assistant director for the movie “Rust.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(NewsNation Now) — The armorer who is at the center of the “Rust” shooting investigation is suing the suppliers of the ammunition for the Western film. 

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico against Seth Kenney’s company, PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC. The lawsuit claims the incident was the fault of Kenney’s company and that he supplied the set with both live and dummy rounds prior to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

In the complaint, Gutierrez-Reed paints the picture of a chaotic, rushed atmosphere on the set that gave rise to the possibility of a tragedy. 

The lawsuit read: “Hannah and the entire ‘Rust’ movie crew relied on the Defendants’ misrepresentation that they provided only dummy ammunition. In so doing, Defendants created a dangerous condition on the movie set, unbeknownst to Hannah Gutierrez Reed, which caused a foreseeable risk of injury to numerous people.”

The suit also mentions two accidental discharges on set five days prior to the fatal shooting. 

Gutierrez-Reed’s main argument is that she was relying on Kenney as the source of the ammunition. The complaint said, “Hannah relied upon and trusted that defendants would only supply dummy prop ammunition or blanks, and no live rounds were ever to be on set.”

On NBC’s “Today” show Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, said he was looking into the possibility that someone intentionally placed a live round in a box of dummy ammunition without Reed’s knowledge, and even provided a possible motive.

“The person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set,” Bowles said. 

The lawsuit said Reed had to step away for a brief period and asked two employees of Kenny’s to watch the guns. 

“When she came back, she noticed that the two had wandered some feet away and the guns were unattended for perhaps five minutes,” the complaint said.

The complaint alleges Hannah then walked outside, given COVID-19 protocol and to prep for later scenes, believing there was no gun on scene at the time.

“Thereafter, Hannah did not see the weapon, nor did she have the custody of it for approximately 15 minutes.” 

NewsNation has reached out to Kenney’s attorney and they said they had no comment on the pending litigation.

The investigation into Hutchins’ death and how the live rounds got on the set remains ongoing.

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