By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
A lawyer for the woman in charge of weapons on the film set where Alec Baldwin shot and killed a cinematographer has alleged a live bullet may have been placed in the gun to “sabotage” the production.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, died during filming of Western movie Rust in New Mexico last month.
Hollywood star Baldwin, 63, was rehearsing with the weapon having been told it was safe.
A police investigation is under way, with officers previously saying it was too early to know if criminal charges would be brought in the case.
Hannah Gutierrez Reed was the armorer on the set of Rust and handed the weapon to the assistant director who gave it to Baldwin.
Jason Bowles, a lawyer for Gutierrez Reed, suggested in a TV interview someone may have tried to “sabotage” the film as he questioned how live rounds came to be in the gun.
In a statement, Mr Bowles said: “Who put those in there and why is the central question.
“Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question and she instructed her department to watch the cart containing the guns when she was pulled away for her other duties or on a lunch break.”
Gutierrez Reed “did everything in her power to ensure a safe set” the statement said, adding: “She inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day. She always inspected the rounds.”
And she inspected the rounds before handing the firearm to assistant director David Halls by “spinning the cylinder and showing him all of the rounds and then handing him the firearm”, according to her lawyer.
Halls announced “cold gun” to signal it was safe before handing the firearm to Baldwin, according to court records.
Baldwin said he was devastated by the death of Hutchins and described the shooting as a “one-in-a-trillion event”.
He said: “We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened.”
The shooting, which also wounded Rust director Joel Souza, has sparked a debate about the use of firearms on set in Hollywood.