A prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western Rust tragically killed the film’s cinematographer and injured its director.
The film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, succumbed to her injuries after being shot by Baldwin, according to to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department. The other victim, the film’s director, Joel Souza, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
The shooting took place on Thursday, October 21st at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. During a rehearsal, Baldwin reportedly cocked and fired a prop gun, hitting Hutchins in the stomach and Souza in the shoulder. Hutchins died after being airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital, while Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital.
“Detectives are investigating how [the prop firearm was used] and what type of projectile was discharged,” the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “This incident remains an active investigation. As more information becomes available, updates will be provided.”
Earlier in the day, a spokesperson for Rust Movie Productions LLC said, “There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. Two crew members have been taken to the hospital and are receiving care. Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
Update – October 22nd at 12:00 p.m. ET: Baldwin has made his first public comments about the incident. In a statement posted to social media, Baldwin wrote, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours.”
“I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband offering my support to him and his family,” Baldwin added. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Rust stars Baldwin and is written and directed by Joel Souza, from a story by Souza and Baldwin. The film co-stars Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Brady Noon (Boardwalk Empire), Frances Fisher (Titanic), and Jensen Ackles (Supernatural).