Officials are looking into reports that a fake weapon fired by actor Alec Baldwin while producing and acting in a Western film killed the cameraman and injured the director.
Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on the film “Rust,” and director Joel Souza were shot Thursday on the rustic film set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s authorities.
According to the sheriff’s department, Hutchins, 42, was flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was declared dead by medical professionals.
Souza, 48, was brought to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center by ambulance, where his injuries are being treated.
The film’s production was suspended.
According to a Baldwin spokesman, an accident occurred on set when a prop pistol with blanks misfired, however a charge without a metal bullet is unlikely to kill at a modest distance.
The 63-year-old Baldwin was seen crying outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, but attempts to reach him for comment were fruitless.
Hutchins, a cameraman, was fatally shot, according to the International Cinematographers Guild.
“The specifics are unknown at this time,” guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement. “We are striving to learn more, and we support a complete inquiry into this sad occurrence.”
Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Thriller Institute, served as director of photography on Joe Manganiello’s upcoming action film “Archenemy.” In 2019, American Cinematographer dubbed her a “emerging star.”
“I’m heartbroken about Halyna’s death. “And so enraged that this could happen on set,” tweeted “Archenemy” director Adam Egypt Mortimer. “She was a wonderful artist who was completely dedicated to cinema and art.”
On his Instagram account, Manganiello described her as “an tremendous talent” and “a lovely person.” He considered himself fortunate to have worked with Hutchins.
Baldwin previously collaborated with Souza as a producer on the 2019 film “Crown Vic,” which stars Thomas Jane as a seasoned Los Angeles cop on the hunt for two deadly bank robbers. “Hanna’s Gold,” a treasure hunt adventure starring Luke Perry, was his first credited picture.
Deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set at 2 p.m. after 911 callers reported a person being shot on set, according to sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios. The ranch has appeared in a number of films, including Tom Hanks’ latest Western “News of the World.”
Detectives were looking into how and what sort of projectile was fired, according to Rios.
Rios said in a statement that the probe “remains ongoing and active.” “At this time, no charges have been filed in connection with this event.” Detectives are continuing to question witnesses.”
According to a press statement from the New Mexico Film Office, filming for “Rust” will continue through early November.
According to the Internet Movie Database website, the film is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to care for himself and his younger brother when his parents die in the 1880s in Kansas. After being condemned to death for the unintentional killing of a local rancher, the adolescent goes on the run with his long-estranged grandpa (played by Baldwin).
Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of martial-arts legend Bruce Lee, died in 1993 after being struck by a.44-caliber bullet during filming a death scene for the film “The Crow.” An autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine, despite the fact that the pistol was supposed to have shot a blank.
“Our hearts go out to the families of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and everybody involved in the event on ‘Rust,'” stated Lee’s sister Shannon on Twitter. On a movie set, no one should ever be murdered with a gun. Period.”
On the set of the television series “Cover Up,” actor Jon-Erik Hexum died in 1984 after shooting himself in the head with a fake gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a.44 Magnum.