‘Rust’ Armorer Faults Investigators for Not Testing Rounds for DNA

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An attorney for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed faulted Sheriff’s investigators on Thursday for not doing a DNA test on the rounds found on set.

Jason Bowles, Gutierrez Reed’s lawyer, urged the lead investigator in an email on Thursday to reconsider, saying that the lack of testing could become “a very significant issue at trial, if we get there.”

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Gutierrez Reed loaded the Colt .45 revolver that Alec Baldwin was holding when he shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21 while preparing for a scene. Baldwin had been told that the gun was “cold,” and investigators have sought to determine why it was loaded with a live round, rather than dummy rounds.

Seven other live rounds were also found on the set.

In a lawsuit, Gutierrez Reed has pointed the finger at Seth Kenney, the supplier who provided dummy rounds used on set. Kenney has denied that the live rounds came from him.

The FBI completed its forensic report on the gun and the rounds earlier this month, bringing the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigation closer to its conclusion. Once the investigation is complete, the local district attorney will make a decision on whether to file charges in Hutchins’ death.

In an email on Thursday morning, Bowles asked Det. Alexandria Hancock why the FBI had not conducted DNA or fingerprint analysis on the live rounds.

“Given the fact the items were from movie sets, which had been handled over and over and over,” Hancock responded. “It didn’t make sense.”

Bowles also questioned why Kenney’s prints were not used for comparison. In the absence of fingerprint and DNA testing, he said there were “always going to be question marks.”

“Thank you for your input, however we are done with testing at this time,” Hancock responded. “We already know Hannah loaded the weapon that was used during the incident, that was her statement. We also know everything in question was handled by multiple people after the incident.”

She added that Kenney was not on set at the time of the shooting. She also said that Kenney and Billy Ray, another supplier, had identified the items they provided to the set.

Bowles provided the email exchange to the media on Thursday evening. He also issued a statement in Gutierrez Reed’s name, noting that the central question in the case is where the live rounds came from.

“It is inconceivable that the Sheriff would not seek answers to this fundamental question, and it raises a serious problem with the entire investigation,” he said. “We have long sought this answer and will not give up in pursuing the truth to find it.”

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