Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a movie set and killed the cinematographer, authorities said. The director of the filmed Western was also injured and authorities are investigating what happened.
Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on the film “Rust,” and director Joel Souza were filmed Thursday in the paperback set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County sheriff officials said.
A Baldwin spokesperson said there was an accident on set that involved the misfire of a propeller gun with spotlights, although a charge without a metal projectile is unlikely to kill at a moderate distance. Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Ríos said detectives were investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin, 63, was seen outside the sheriff’s office crying Thursday, but attempts to obtain comment from him were unsuccessful.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where her medical staff pronounced her dead, the sheriff’s department said. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.
Production stopped on the movie.
The International Guild of Cinematographers confirmed that the woman fatally shot was Hutchins, a cinematographer.
“Details are unclear at this time, but we are working to obtain more information and support a full investigation into this tragic event,” union president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement.
Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, served as a cinematographer on the 2020 action film “Archenemy,” starring Joe Manganiello. He was named a “rising star” by the American cinematographer in 2019.
“I am so sad to lose Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on set, “” Archenemy “director Adam Egypt Mortimer said on Twitter. “He was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and film.”
His film colleague Manganiello called her “an incredible talent” and “a great person” on his Instagram account. He said that he was lucky to have worked with Hutchins.
Baldwin was previously associated as a producer with Souza on the 2019 film, “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles police officer in a chase of two violent bank robbers. His first credited film, 2010’s “Hanna’s Gold,” was a scavenger hunt adventure with Luke Perry.
Sheriff’s deputies responded around 2 p.m. at the filming of the movie at Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls described a person who was shot on set, said Rios, the sheriff’s spokesman. The ranch has been used in dozens of movies, including Tom Hanks Western’s recent “News of the World.”
“This investigation remains open and active,” Ríos said in a statement. “No charges have been filed regarding this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives. ”
Filming for “Rust” was scheduled to continue through early November, according to a press release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The film is about a 13-year-old boy who must fend for himself and his younger brother after the death of his parents in Kansas in the 1880s, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teenager runs away with his grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental murder of a local rancher.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, the son of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44-caliber bullet while filming the death scene for the movie “The Raven.” The gun was supposed to have fired a target, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.
A Twitter account run by Lee’s sister Shannon said: “Our hearts go out to the Halyna Hutchins family and to Joel Souza and everyone involved in the ‘Rust’ incident. No one should ever die with a gun on a movie set. Period.”
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a support pistol while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series “Cover Up.”