Rust Armorers Industry Vet Father Hands Police Possible Pivotal Tip On Live Rounds Origin; Hannah Gutierrez Reed Admits She Didnt Check Gun Too Much
Santa Fe police may be a step closer to discovering where the live round fired on October 21 by Alec Baldwin that killed Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins came from.
In a fourth search warrant approved by a New Mexico judge, detectives today revealed that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s father reached out to them on November 15 with a tale of possibly hundreds of rounds of live ammunition that Rust “armorer mentor” Seth Kenney took from him earlier this year. Ammunition that Kenney told Thell Reed to “write it off” when the industry veteran armorer and stuntman repeatedly inquired about the rounds.
In two conversations with the Sheriff’s Office, the elder Reed revealed he brought the “approximately 200-300 rounds in the can …described the can to be green in color and looked like a military ammo can” to a “firearms range” to help train actors on another production with Kenney.
'Sons Of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter Sets Western 'The Abandons' At Netflix; Shoot-Em-Up Vet On 'Rust' Tragedy & Reforms: 'I Can't Wrap My Brain Around The Fact Live Ammo Was Anywhere Near The Set'
In an interview with the Santa Fe police, the elder Reed “stated this ammunition may match the ammunition found on the set of Rust.”
Seen as one of the best in the business, the elder Reed has been a weapons consultant and armorer on the likes of Once Upon A Time in …Hollywood, Cowboys & Aliens, 3:10 to Yuma, Grindhouse and many more over the decades.
Experience that to some degree the cops are acting on.
“Affiant is requesting a search warrant be approved for the business of PDQ Arm & Prop, LLC, in attempt to search for any items of evidentiary value that will help with the ongoing investigation in relation to the death of Halyna Hutching (sic) on the set of Rust, filmed at the Bonanza Creek Ranch,” successful requests the affidavit from Det. Alexandria Hancock (read it here).
The search warrant signed off on permits Detectives to go into the Albuquerque-based business to search the premises and seize property deemed relevant to the investigation. The strip mall located company is owned by Kenney.
According to Gutierrez-Reed, as stated in today’s warrant, Kenney “supplied the ammunition and weapons to the set of Rust.” The document goes on to say that “Affiant learned the firearms and ammunition were picked up either from Hannah or Sarah (Zachery, prop master) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC.
A conversation police had with Zachery in the immediate aftermath of the October 21 shooting saw the crew member declare that “ammunition for Rust was provided from various sources, to include Seth Kenney, some Hannah brought from a previous production, and extra rounds from an individual identified as “Billy Ray.’”
Previous search warrants executed by the police at the Bonanza Creek Ranch have found a number of weapons and, according to Sheriff Adan Mendoza, “500 rounds of ammunition … a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”
There are no details in today’s documents on who this “Billy Ray” is. However, there is an increasingly growing amount of info on Kenney, who was brought on board the $7 million indie Western to back up the so-what newbie Gutierrez-Reed
Named as a defendant in the two lawsuits that have already been filed in the Rust tragedy, weapons specialist Kenney has emerged as a pivotal figure in the cops’ probe, along with armorer Gutierrez-Reed and First Assistant Director Dave Halls. Like star/producer Baldwin, both Gutierrez-Reed and Halls, who, have hired hardened defense lawyers as the move towards the courts speeds up.
In an October 29 “call” with police, Kenney floated a theory of “reloaded ammunition” that “a friend” had given him a few years ago. The ammo in question had a particular logo on it of “a star, an arch, and then another star” matching that of big dealer Starline Brass. “He described how the company only sells components of ammunition, and not live ammunition, therefore it had to be a reloaded round,” the seven-page warrant notes.
The latest warrant also notes more details form the Sheriff’s Office’s sit-downs with Gutierrez-Reed since the fatal shooting at the Bonanza Creek Ranch location over five weeks ago. Specifically, while laying out how the guns on set were handled and stored that terrible day, Gutierrez-Reed “stated the guns were checked on set, however she ‘didn’t really check it too much’ (the firearm), due to it being locked up at lunch.”
Kept out of the church location frequently due to what she told detectives were “COVID precautions,’ the armorer has previously laid out how she handed the 1880s-era gun to Halls, who then took it inside ad gave it to Baldwin after exclaiming “cold gun.” Practicing a “quick draw” move during a Rust rehearsal of the already weapons and labor troubled production, Baldwin pulled the trigger to kill Hutchins and injure director Joel Souza.
Along with several members of the camera crew resigning in writing over financial and safety concerns mere hours before the shooting, there were at least two other incidents of weapons mistakenly discharging on the Rust set before the tragedy of October 21 – as props assistant/armorer Gutierrez-Reed and others have confirmed
First AD Halls has admitted to the Sheriff’s Office that he did not properly check the weapon in question before giving it to Baldwin. As Deadline reported on October 25, Halls was fired from a previous film because of gun safety lapses and was not rehired over personal misconduct complaints on a 2019 Blumhouse TV project.
Gutierrez-Reed lawyer have been talking up a “sabotage” theory in the media to explain the shooting that took DoP Hutchins’ life. Discredited by the Santa Fe DA, the theory is based on the premise that something was underhanded may have been connected to the mass camera crew exit earlier that day..
As the lawsuits pile up, the Hutchins family have retained their own attorneys (who specialize in wrongful death) and the police probe continues, no one has been arrested or charged over the Rust shooting, yet.
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