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The “Rust” armorer is suing the film’s weapons supplier, alleging that he provided the live ammunition that killed a cinematographer and wounded a director during a rehearsal in October at a movie set outside Santa Fe.
Jason Bowles, attorney for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in 2nd Judicial District Court seeking damages against Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm and Prop for violating the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act, creation of a dangerous condition, breach of contract, false and deceptive product labels and false and material misrepresentations.
The lawsuit stems from an Oct. 21 incident when, according to authorities, actor Alec Baldwin discharged a live round from a Colt .45 revolver, killing Halyna Hutchins, 42, and wounding Joel Souza, 48, inside a rustic church on the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set.
The Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office found additional live rounds on the set after the incident and the agency’s investigation has centered around where the live ammunition came from.
During that investigation, according to court records, Kenney told deputies he may have given reloaded ammunition to Gutierrez-Reed, who loaded the gun, before the Oct. 21 shooting. The father of Gutierrez-Reed, well-known armorer Thell Reed, told deputies he supplied Kenney with live rounds for firearms training during a separate movie shoot and Kenney kept the leftover ammunition.
The Journal could not reach Kenney for comment Wednesday.
In a Dec. 2 interview with “Good Morning America,” Kenney said he supplied the guns and blank and dummy ammunition to the set but denied that the live rounds found on set came from him.
Court records state that, leading up to the shooting, assistant director David Halls had declared the firearm “cold,” meaning unloaded, and handed it to Baldwin. Halls later told deputies he hadn’t checked the gun properly and couldn’t recall if Gutierrez-Reed had either.
Bowles has previously leveled allegations that Gutierrez-Reed was sabotaged. In an interview with ABC News, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies dismissed that claim, calling it a “conspiracy theory.”
The lawsuit alleges Kenney provided ammo boxes labeled “45 Colt Dummies,” which held a mix of dummy and live rounds, unbeknownst to Gutierrez-Reed, and “resulting in a foreseeably catastrophic outcome.”