'Rust' Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed Reportedly Sues Ammunition Supplier, Alleges She Trusted 'No Live Rounds Were Ever To Be On Set'
Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is reportedly suing the Rust film prop supplier. The rookier armorer filed the suit months after the accidental shooting on the New Mexico set claimed the life of the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins.
The 24-year-old filed a lawsuit against Seth Kenney and his PDQ Arm & Prop company on Wednesday, January 12, in New Mexico, according to Fox News. Gutierrez-Reed cited New Mexico's unfair-trade-practices law in the suit. She also sued Kenney for breach of contract, creation of a dangerous condition and deceptive product labels and more.
According to New York Post, a prop assistant brought in a new box of .45-caliber Long Colt rounds from Kenney’s shop on the day of the shooting. Gutierrez-Reed claimed she thought the box contained blanks.
Hutchins was fatally wounded after Alec Baldwin reportedly discharged a firearm with a live round of ammunition. The film's director, Joel Souza, was also injured. As OK! reported, the Still Alice actor was told the gun was cold before the incident.
The suit alleged the defendants distributed boxes of ammunition that contained a mix of dummy rounds and live ammunition, per Fox. "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, unbeknownst to Hannah Gutierrez Reed, which caused a foreseeable risk of injury to numerous people," the suit read.
According to the suit, to the best of her knowledge, Gutierrez-Reed believed the gun in question was loaded with six dummy rounds, The Post reported. "Indeed, Defendants as suppliers of prop ammunition to the Rust set, sold, distributed, and advertised its props as dummy ammunition and not live rounds. Hannah relied upon and trusted that Defendants would only supply dummy prop ammunition, or blanks, and no live rounds were ever to be on set," the suit claimed.
Given that the scene Baldwin was rehearsing was not a scheduled rehearsal, assistant director Dave Halls was "sitting in" with the gun, the suit claimed, per Fox. However, Gutierrez-Reed alleged the gun was not supposed to be used at all at that time.
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According to the suit, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the armorer was not allowed to be in the church where the incident took place. Instead, video monitors were placed outside so the crew could watch. However, on the day of the shooting, the monitors were not said to have been working, Fox reported.
Gutierrez-Reed reportedly said if she had been informed that a gun was being used, she could have reinspected the firearm and instructed Baldwin on safe gun practice while cross-drawing a gun. "Hannah would never have let Baldwin point the weapon at Halyna, as part of standard safe gun practices," the suit declared.
Guitierrez-Reed is reportedly seeking a jury of six people and damages. The suit also alleged Kenney, "took it upon himself to essentially investigate this matter for the Sheriff’s Office and insert himself into this matter and attempt to implicate Hannah."
During an appearance on Good Morning America in December, Kenney maintained it wasn't a possibility that live rounds, "came from PDQ or from myself personally," per Deadline.
In October, he reportedly told authorities that the live round may have been "reloaded ammunition" with a Starline Brass logo on it. "(Kenney) described how (Starline) only sells components of ammunition, and not live ammunition, therefore it had to be a reloaded round," a search warrant read.
Last month, the 63-year-old actor spoke to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos about the shooting and declared he did not pull the trigger. "I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off," he explained. "That was the moment the gun went off."
Halls' attorney, Lisa Torraco, previously backed Baldwin's claim, explaining on Good Morning America that at the time, "Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard, parallel to the barrel."