In the latest development in the “Rust” film set shooting, a new search warrant has led investigators to a possible source for the live round that led to the death of a cinematographer and the injuring of the director, according to ABC News.
When questioned by investigators, Thell Reed, a veteran Hollywood armorer and the father of “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, said that he once possessed ammunition that “may match the ammunition found on the set of Rust.” His statement was included in a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department search warrant that was issued on Tuesday.
The warrant allowed for the search of a prop house in Albuquerque called PDQ Arm and Prop LLC, owned by a man named Seth Kenney. Kenney was hired by the film production to provide guns, dummy rounds, and blanks, with the latter manufactured by a company called Starline Brass.
Reed also told investigators that when he worked with Kenney on a prior production, Kenney allegedly asked him to bring live rounds to a firearms training session with actors on a range, “in case they ran out of what was supplied.” In response to this request, Reed provided Kenney with an “ammo can” containing 200 to 300 live rounds, which Reed said “was not factory made.” After production concluded and Reed tried to get the remaining ammunition back, Kenney told him to “write it off” and took the rest of the live rounds back to New Mexico for himself.
Kenney’s attorney has since released a statement denying that he ever provided live ammunition to the “Rust” set, and added that Kenney is “fully cooperating with the authorities.”
“Neither Mr. Kenney nor PDQ Arm & Prop, LLC provided live ammunition to the Rust production,” the lawyer, Adam Engelskirchen, said to the press. “Reports in other media outlets that Mr. Kenney was part of the crew of Rust or was employed by the production to provide any sort of supervisory services are patently false.”
The shooting took place on October 21st, when lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin was testing a revolver for a shot that allegedly called for his character to aim at the camera and fire. When he pulled the trigger, the gun discharged a live round that killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. There have been ongoing debates regarding culpability for the incident, ranging from Gutierrez-Reed as the film’s armorer, to Baldwin’s role in actually pulling the trigger.