The rookie armorer on “Rust” reportedly had a mysterious “mentor” on set — who supplied the gun Alec Baldwin used when he accidentally shot dead his cinematographer.
Seth Kenney, who owns an Arizona weapons and props rental company, was hired late September to be an “armorer mentor” for Hannah Gutierrez Reed, according to an internal crew list obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Kenney, 51, had even suggested Gutierrez Reed, 24, for the key armorer gig, despite her having only been in charge of weapons in one other movie, a source told the paper.
However, several “Rust” crew members told the L.A. Times that they do not ever recall Kenney being on the doomed New Mexico set.
It was also unclear exactly what his role entailed, as several longtime prop masters and armorers also told the paper that they had never heard of movies hiring an “armorer mentor.”
But multiple sources told the paper Kenney did supply the guns used in the Western — including the Colt .45 that Baldwin, 63, was using when he accidentally killed Halyna Hutchins, 42.
It was unclear if he had also provided ammunition for the production.
The heart of the investigation is focused on how live rounds ended up there, with Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys even claiming they may have been planted by a disgruntled crew member.
Kenney’s previously secret job on the movie is at odds with earlier reports from crew members — as well as experienced movie makers who turned down the flick — that “Rust” was wildly understaffed and inexperienced.
Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys had complained that she “was hired for two positions” by cost-cutting bosses, and had “fought for training … but ultimately was overruled by production and her department.”
Kenney lives in Lake Havasu City, where his company, PDQ Arm & Prop,
holds two licenses for dealing in firearms issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the L.A. Times said, citing records.
The company is registered with federal authorities to manufacture most firearms with the intent to sell them, and to import weapons and ammunition — allowing them to legally transport guns over state lines.
Before starting his company in 2016, he had worked for five years at one of Los Angeles’ biggest prop houses, the Hand Prop Room, where he handled the weapons arsenal and dealt with prop masters for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and movies like “Django Unchained.”
“He provided weapons to hundreds of productions when he worked there,” one source told the paper.
“He’s very knowledgeable in the field. He’s … very good at educating individuals who aren’t so good at weapons,” the source said.
“He customized the weapons for whatever load you’re needing, which is very precise, he’s one of the very few who know how to do that.”
However, the Hand Prop Room filed suit against Kenney in Los Angeles County Superior Court in May 2016, alleging that he’d taken some of its weapons to start his competing business. But the company asked for the case to be dismissed a year later, and it was, records show.
Kenney, The Hand Prop Room, the movie’s producers, Rust LLC, and unit production managers, 3rd Shift Media, all declined to be interviewed, the L.A. Times said.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s spokesperson Juan Ríos also declined to comment on the investigation, the paper said. The force has previously not ruled out charges against any of those involved, including Baldwin.