Authorities say Alec Baldwin fired a prop firearm on the set of the upcoming film “Rust” on Thursday, killing the cinematographer and injuring the film’s director in an on-set incident.
According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, a helicopter transported cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Joel Souza, 48, the director, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital and is receiving emergency treatment for his injuries.
“According to investigators, the scene being filmed appears to have involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Detectives are looking into how and what type of projectile was used.”
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to a 911 call Thursday afternoon reporting that someone had been shot on the “Rust” set at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
The incident is still being investigated, and no charges have been filed, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives are still interviewing witnesses.
“Rust” stars Baldwin, 68, who also serves as the film’s producer. The Western’s production has been halted. Hutchins was identified as the victim of a fatal shooting by the International Cinematographers Guild on Thursday.
“At this time, the details are unclear, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” said guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine in a statement.
Hutchins previously worked as the director of cinematography for Joe Manganiello’s 2020 action film “Archenemy.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ukrainian-born cinematographer began her career in Eastern Europe as an investigative journalist for British documentary productions. In 2019, American Cinematographer named her a “rising star” after she graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015.
Hutchins’ most recent Instagram posts featured photos from the set of Bonanza Creek Ranch.
Souza’s most recent film was “Crown Vic,” which starred Bridget Moynahan and Thomas Jane and was also produced by Baldwin.
On Thursday evening, reactions from Hollywood began to pour in.
“I’m taken aback. On Archenemy, I was extremely fortunate to have Halyna Hutchins as my DP. A fantastic talent and a wonderful person. I can’t believe something like this could happen in this day and age… Could a prop gun’s bullets kill a crew member? What a heinous tragedy. “My heart goes out to her family,” tweeted Joe Manganiello, who last worked with Hutchins on the set of the 2020 film “Archenemy.”
“Asking for your prayers tonight friends,” Stephen Baldwin, Baldwin’s younger brother, wrote on Instagram Friday morning. “There isn’t much to say other than please pray for everyone involved in the aftermath of this tragic accident.”
“I’m so sad about Halyna,” director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who collaborated with Hutchins on “Archenemy,” tweeted. “And I was enraged that this could happen on a set.” She was a brilliant artist who was completely dedicated to art and film.”
“Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes out to her family,” wrote Elijah Wood on Twitter.
“My greatest fear is that someone will die on one of my sets. I hope this never happens. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragedy on Rust today, especially Halyna Hutchins and her family “Director James Gunn penned the script.
According to IMDb.com, the film “Rust” is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother after their parents die in 1880s Kansas. After being sentenced to death by hanging for the unintentional killing of a local rancher, the teen flees with his estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin). According to a press release from the New Mexico Film Office, filming for “Rust” will continue into early November.
Prop guns have previously been linked to fatalities on movie sets.
Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of martial-arts legend Bruce Lee, was accidentally shot to death with a prop gun while filming “The Crow” in 1993. The gun was supposed to fire blanks, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.
Jon-Erik Hexum, 26, died in 1984 after shooting himself in the head with a blank prop gun while pretending to play Russian roulette on the set of the TV show ′′Cover Up.′′