Gunsmith sues ammunition supplier for fatal shootout on set of Alec Baldwin movie
A new trial on Wednesday accused an ammunition supplier of creating unsafe conditions on a film set where a gun owned by actor Alec Baldwin killed a cinematographer, including live ammunition in a box which was supposed to contain only dummy bullets.
The lawsuit was filed in New Mexico State District Court by Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the gunsmith who oversaw firearms, ammunition and related training on the set of Rust with two colleagues. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on October 21 from a gunshot wound during a Rust rehearsal at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe in northern New Mexico.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the cause of death, said it was too early to determine whether charges would be laid. Investigators described “a certain complacency” in the way the weapons were handled on the set.
Gutierrez Reed’s lawsuit blames ammunition supplier Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm & Prop for bringing live cartridges to the set where only blanks and mannequins were supposed to be present.
“The introduction of live rounds on the set, which no one had anticipated, combined with the rushed and chaotic atmosphere, created a perfect storm for a security incident,” the lawsuit said.
Kenney could not be reached for comment. He previously said that he was sure his company had not sent any live balls to all of Rust.
The lawsuit adds new details to the chain of custody of guns and ammunition on the Rust takes place on October 21, describing the appearance of a new box of ammunition – presumed to be harmless, non-explosive dummy cartridges – shortly before a revolver is loaded and handed over to Baldwin.
Baldwin said he was unaware the gun he was holding contained a live bullet when it exploded while pointed at Hutchins. Investigators are trying to find where the bullet came from live, searching the Albuquerque premises of PDQ Arm & Prop in December.
WATCH | Alec Baldwin told ABC News he didn’t pull the trigger:
The new trial seeks damages in a jury trial over allegations of unfair trade practices, introduction of unsafe products, false labels and misrepresentation.
He indicates that the authorities found on the set “a suspect of seven live bullets distributed inside the ammunition box, on the ammunition cart and in the cartridge belts”.
The lawsuit also accuses Kenney of getting involved in the investigations and of trying to implicate Gutierrez Reed.
Authorities recovered hundreds of cartridges from Rust film set – a mix of blanks, dummy bullets, and what appeared to be live bullets.
Authorities issued a search warrant for Baldwin’s phone, searching for text messages, pictures, videos, calls or any other information related to the film.