(AP/NBC News Channel) — The woman in charge of weapons on the movie set where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins said Wednesday night that she had inspected the gun Baldwin shot but doesn’t know how a live bullet ended up inside.
“Who put those in there and why is the central question,” Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer for the movie “Rust” said in a statement issued by one of her lawyers, Jason Bowles of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Hannah kept guns locked up, including throughout lunch on the day in question (Oct. 21), 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.”
The statement goes on to say that “Hannah did everything in her power to ensure a safe set. She inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day. She always inspected the rounds.”
The statement adds that 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.”
“No one could have anticipated or thought that someone would introduce live rounds into this set,” Gutierrez Reed’s statement said.
The statement also noted that “she did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person.”
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers told NBC News their client has been “slandered” and falsely portrayed in the media.
On Oct. 29, attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez Reed said she doesn’t know where the live rounds found there came from and blamed producers for unsafe working conditions.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has said there was “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the set of “Rust.”
Investigators initially found 500 rounds of ammunition — a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what appeared to be live rounds. Industry experts have said live rounds should never be on set.
Additional ammunition, a dozen revolvers and a rifle also were seized in the search of a white truck used for storing props including firearms, according to an inventory list filed Friday in court.