‘Rust’ Armorer Sues Ammunition Supplier Over Live Rounds That Killed Cinematographer

by Jennifer Shea
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The armorer for the ill-fated movie Rust is suing the ammunition supplier for the production. She claims he gave her a mix of dummy rounds and live bullets.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is herself a defendant in two other lawsuits filed by Rust crew members. Now she says Seth Kenney caused the confusion that made possible the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. She filed her lawsuit under New Mexico’s unfair trade practices law, Variety reports.  

“Defendants distributed boxes of ammunition purporting to contain dummy rounds, but which contained a mix of dummy and live ammunition to the Rust production,” her lawsuit reads. “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… which caused a foreseeable risk of injury to numerous people.”

Rust Ammunition Supplier Told Two Different Stories

According to an affidavit released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Kenney gave investigators one version of events. He told them he had gotten “reloaded ammunition” – in which one makes a new live round out of a case that has already been fired – from a friend a few years back. That ammunition reportedly looked similar to the dummy rounds. It may have gotten mixed in with them.

But in a later interview with ABC News, Kenney said that he tests rounds individually before sending them out to film sets. He insisted the live bullets couldn’t have come from him.

“It’s not a possibility that they came from PDQ [Arm & Prop in Albuquerque] or from myself personally,” he said.

The new lawsuit charges Kenney with trying to make Gutierrez-Reed his scapegoat. Before they filed this lawsuit, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers argued that Gutierrez-Reed was the victim of sabotage. They have yet to provide evidence for that scenario.

Some Crew Members Reportedly Used Gun to Go ‘Plinking’

Since Hutchins died of a gunshot wound on Oct. 21, reports have emerged of unsafe gun handling practices on the Rust set. The Wrap reports that crew members had been using prop guns for target practice. On that fateful day, several crew members reportedly used the gun that would later kill Hutchins to go “plinking,” or shooting at beer cans with live ammo.

Moreover, other crew members had complained about unsafe working conditions on set. And on the day the shooting occurred, members of the camera crew had walked off set to protest their pay and working conditions. So producers brought in non-union workers to keep the production running.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Rust producers – including Alec Baldwin – said that “the safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions.”