Seth Kenney, of PDQ Arm & Prop, gave his first public comments shortly after investigators searched his business in Albuquerque, N.M., for clues that might explain how live rounds became mingled with dummy rounds. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on Oct. 21 when actor Alec Baldwin fired a live round from an antique .45 Colt revolver while preparing for a scene.
“It’s not a possibility that they came from PDQ or from myself personally,” Kenney told ABC News.
That statement conflicts what with Kenney told investigators on Oct. 29, according to a search warrant affidavit released on Tuesday. In that interview, Kenney surmised that the dummy rounds could have been mixed with “reloaded ammunition” he had received from a friend a couple of years earlier. (See update below.) Reloaded ammunition refers to rounds that are rebuilt using a spent casing. Kenney said the reloaded rounds would have had a Starline Brass logo, and would have appeared similar to the blank and dummy rounds he supplies to film projects.
Kenney did not address that prior statement in the “Good Morning America” interview. He did say that dummy rounds are checked to make sure they rattle before being sent to film sets. A live round would not rattle.
“When we send dummy rounds out, they get individually rattle tested before they get sent out,” Kenney told the program. “So if you have a box of 50, you’ve got to do it 50 times. And at that point you know they’re safe to send.”
Baldwin is set to appear in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News on Thursday evening. In a clip from the interview released on Wednesday, Baldwin denied that he had pulled the trigger.
“No, no, no,” he said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never.”
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on the film, has previously said she has no idea where the live rounds came from. The prop master on the film, Sarah Zachry, has told investigators that the ammunition came from several sources, including Kenney, a man named Billy Ray and from a supply that Gutierrez Reed had left over from a previous project.
Gutierrez Reed’s father, veteran armorer Thell Reed, told investigators last month that he and Kenney had conducted a live fire training for actors in August or September. He said Kenney had asked him to bring some extra .45-caliber ammunition for the training, and that Kenney had made off with it after the training was over. Reed suggested that some of those rounds might have made their way to the set of “Rust.”
In the interview with “Good Morning America,” Kenney said that was not possible. He also noted that some of the dummy rounds had come from other sources.
Investigators seized some .45 caliber ammunition, including live rounds, from Kenney’s business on Tuesday. Kenney said those rounds did not match the live rounds found on set. The FBI is analyzing the ammunition seized from the set.
Update on April 28, 2022: On Monday, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office released an audio recording of the Oct. 29, 2021, phone call between Kenney and a detective, as well as an investigative report based on the call, which provides greater clarity regarding his statement than the search warrant affidavit. On the call, Kenney said that he might have “some spent brass” — apparently a reference to the Starline Brass live rounds — but he does not suggest that any live rounds he may have possessed were passed on to Gutierrez Reed. His statement to investigators thus does not appear to conflict with what he told ABC News.