UPDATED 6:30 p.m. with statement from attorneys representing Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
Investigators in the “Rust” shooting have issued a fourth search warrant, this time with the intent to seek documents, cameras and videos and any ammo from the film’s supplier of prop guns and ammunition that may point to the source of how live ammunition appeared on the set.
Police on Tuesday issued a warrant for PDQ Arm & Prop, LLC, which is located in Albuquerque and is run by Seth Kenney, who the Los Angeles Times earlier this month identified as an “armorer mentor” to armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. He also recommended her for the job on “Rust.” The warrant is the latest in an ongoing investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office as they try to determine how live rounds made their way to the film’s set, which normally are forbidden from movie sets.
In speaking with the police in October, Kenney suggested he had an idea where the rounds may have come from. He said he received ammo that “stuck out to him” and referred to what he called “reloaded ammunition” that had a logo from Starline Brass listed on the side, a company that sells only components of ammunition, but not live ammunition.
The warrant also mentions a call police had with Thell Reed on Nov. 17, the father of Gutierrez-Reed and a famed armorer and exhibition shooter, in which Reed explains he worked on a separate film set with Kenney and had asked him to bring live ammunition to a training session with actors. The green “ammo can” had approximately 200-300 rounds in the can, and after production ended, Kenney took the ammo can back to New Mexico, still containing .45 caliber colt ammunition inside.
“After several attempts to get it back from Seth, Seth advised Thell to ‘write it off.’ Thell stated this ammunition may match the ammunition found on the set of ‘Rust,'” the search warrant reads.
The latest affidavit also includes details of Gutierrez-Reed describing to police that she recalls loading the gun with five dummy rounds before lunch on the day of the shooting, but that a sixth round would not fit in the gun, so she cleaned it and put in another round. After lunch, she said the guns were checked on set but that she “didn’t really check it too much” because it was locked up at lunch, but did check before loading in the last round.
“We had the gun the whole time before that, and nothing happened, and I wasn’t in there, and they weren’t even supposed to be pulling the hammer back,” she told investigators, according to the search warrant.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles continued to float her legal team’s assertion that the set may have been sabotaged somehow.
“The Sheriff’s Office has taken a huge step forward today to unearth the full truth of who put the live rounds on the Rust set, by executing a search warrant on PDQ Arm & Prop, owned by Armorer-Mentor, Seth Kenney. We trust that the FBI will now compare and analyze the ‘live rounds’ seized from the set to evidence seized in the search warrant to conclusively determine where the live rounds came from,” Bowles said.
“In keeping with the early findings and concerns of our own internal investigation, which were echoed by a detailed report in the LA Times, we also hope that there will be further investigation into the important detail about a new ammunition box seen on set the day of the shooting. The questions of who introduced the live rounds onto the set and why are the central questions in the case. Today’s warrant is a major step towards answering those questions and we commend the Sheriff’s Office and their lead investigator on their continuing tireless work to find the truth,” he continued.
“Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed Oct. 21 and director Joel Souza was injured when a gun held by Baldwin discharged containing a “live round,” as authorities have previously said. Baldwin was handed the firearm after being told it was a “cold gun.” A criminal investigation is still ongoing and no charges have been filed. A previous search warrant released on Oct. 27 mentioned that “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls did not thoroughly check the guns used on set as he says he should have done.