Alec Baldwin shot a gun at the Western set and killed the cinematographer. This was Friday’s description of what the actor called a “tragic incident.” Authorities are investigating.
Halyna Hutchins (the cinematographer for “Rust”) and Director Joel Souza were filmed Thursday in the desert near Santa Fe.
Baldwin spokesperson said that a prop gun using blanks was misfired. Santa Fe County Sheriff spokesperson said that detectives are investigating the type and method of projectile discharged. There were no immediate charges.
It wasn’t clear what Baldwin was doing at the time or how many shots were fired. There was also little information about the weapon.
“There are no words that can express my sadness and shock at the tragic accident that claimed the life of Halyna Houtchins, a wife and mother, and a colleague who we deeply admire,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. Baldwin posted on Twitter that she was fully cooperating in the police investigation. “My heart breaks for her husband and their son and all those who loved Halyna.”
Juan Rios, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, said that detectives were present at the scene Friday morning to gather evidence and other information. He said Baldwin is allowed to travel.
“He’s a free man,” Rios said.
Images of the 63 year-old actor were captured outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday.
Prop guns usually fire blanks or gunpowder, which produce a flash and bang but no hard projectile. The barrel can explode with enough force to be deadly at close range when the trigger is pulled. This was the case for the 1984 death of an actor.
Another on-set incident in 1993 saw Brandon Lee, an actor, killed by a bullet in his prop gun. Similar shootings have also occurred with stage weapons loaded with live ammunition.
Steven Hall, a British veteran director of photography, stated that gun-safety protocols on American sets have improved in recent years. He said that the most dangerous position to be in was behind the camera, as this person is often in the line-of-fire in scenes in which an actor seems to point a gun at an audience member.
Hutchins (42 years old) was flown to a hospital where she was declared dead. Souza, 48, sustained injuries in the collarbone region and was transported by ambulance to a hospital.
Rios stated that Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at Bonanza Creek Ranch to assist with the film set. Rios had received 911 calls describing a shooting. It has been featured in numerous films, including the Tom Hanks Western “News of the World”.
Rios stated in a statement that “this investigation remains open” and that it is still active.
Hutchins’ last social media post was a photo showing the “Rust”, actors standing in solidarity with crew members. She was a member of the IATSE union, which represents crew members. After threatening to strike in recent week over issues such as on-set safety and long hours, the union will vote on a new contract soon.
Hutchins is a 2015 American Film Institute graduate who was the director of photography for the 2020 action film “Archenemy”, starring Joe Manganiello. American Cinematographer named her a “rising star”, in 2019.
“I feel so sorry for Halyna. On Twitter, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Director of Archenemy, expressed his anger at the possibility that such a thing could happen on a set. “She was a talented talent, who was completely committed to art as well as film.”
Manganiello referred to Hutchins as “an amazing talent” and “a wonderful person” via his Instagram account. He stated that he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her.
According to Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Hutchins was Ukrainian. The consulate of Ukraine in San Francisco worked with U.S. law enforcement officers.
Baldwin worked as a producer alongside Souza on “Crown Vic”, a 2019 film that starred Thomas Jane, a veteran Los Angeles cop on a hunt for two bank robbers. Souza’s 2010 film “Hanna’s Gold”, his first credit film, was a treasure hunting adventure featuring Luke Perry.
Production was stopped on “Rust” after the shooting. The story is about a 13 year-old boy left with no parents following the 1880s Kansas death of his parents. According to the Internet Movie Database website, the movie’s plot centers around a young boy who must take care of his younger brother and himself. After being sentenced for the murder of a local rancher, the teen runs away with Baldwin’s grandfather.
Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, was killed in 1993 by a.44 caliber slug. He was filming a scene about his death for “The Crow.” An autopsy revealed that he had a bullet lodged at his spine.
Shannon, Lee’s sister, ran a Twitter account that said: “Our hearts go to the family Halyna Hutchins as well as Joel Souza and all those involved in the incident at Rust. No one should ever die from a gun on a set.” “Permanent.”
Jon-Erik Hexum, an actor who was pretending to play Russian Roulette with a.44 Magnum while shooting himself in the head using a blank prop gun blank, died on the set for the television series Cover Up.
These shootings also occurred during historical reenactments. An actor who was staging an historical gunfight in Tombstone (Arizona) was shot and injured with a live bullet during a show that was supposed not to use blanks.
Three spectators were injured in an Old West-themed tourist town called Hill City, South Dakota by a reenactor who fired real bullets rather than blanks in 2011.