New Leads on How Live Ammo May Have Gotten on Rust Set

Police executed a search warrant Tuesday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2021 2:02 AM CST
Updated Dec 1, 2021 6:53 AM CST
New Leads on How Live Ammo May Have Gotten on Rust Set
A photo of Serge Svetnoy, left, and Halyna Hutchins is displayed after a news conference with attorney Gary Dordick and his client Serge Svetnoy, chief of lighting on the "Rust' film set, to announce a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Investigators are following up on new leads regarding the live ammunition that somehow ended up on the New Mexico set of Rust, killing the film's cinematographer when the gun Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with went off Oct. 21. Movie gun supplier Seth Kenney was supposed to provide blanks and dummy rounds to the production, per court documents cited by the New York Times. Both the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and the prop master, Sarah Zachry, say Kenney was among those providing guns and ammo to the set. Kenney initially told investigators he provided dummy rounds and blanks, then called two days later to say "he may know where the live rounds came from," according to an affidavit cited by the AP.

He said a couple years prior he'd received "reloaded ammunition" from a friend and that it "stood out in his memory because of a star-shaped company logo" from Starline Brass; since that company only sells components of ammunition and not live ammo itself, he believed the ammunition he'd received must have been reloaded. (An armorer not involved in the film says reloaded ammo can mean ammunition reconstituted from the brass casing of a fired round.) Separately, Gutierrez-Reed's father, famed stuntman and armorer Thell Reed, told a detective that he had worked with Kenney on another set over the summer and had, at Kenney's request, brought live ammo to that set so an actor could train with them at a firing range, NBC News reports.

Reed says Kenney took the leftover rounds, which Reed says were "not factory made," back to New Mexico with him and rebuffed Reed's attempts to have the ammo returned, and that the ammunition in question may match the ammo found on the set of Rust. Police executed a search warrant on Kenney's Albuquerque-based business, PDQ Arm & Prop, Tuesday. It's not yet clear how these leads fit together, nor how they tie in with the overall narrative of the ammo on the set, which Zachry told authorities was also provided by Gutierrez-Reed from another production and from a third source that has not yet been made public. Through a lawyer, Kenney denies being the source of live ammo on the Rust set, ABC News reports. (Read more Halyna Hutchins stories.)

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