SANTA FE, New Mexico – Authorities are investigating after confirming that a prop gun discharged by actor Alec Baldwin, while producing and starring in a western film, killed the director of photography and injured the director.
Santa Fe County Sheriff officials said Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on the movie “Rust,” and director Joel Souza were shot Thursday on the rustic movie set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical staff, 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 was halted on the film.
A spokesperson for Baldwin said there had been an accident on set involving the misfiring of a propeller pistol with blanks, although a charge without a metallic projectile likely did not kill at a moderate distance.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin, 63, was seen outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday in tears, but attempts to elicit comment from him were unsuccessful.
The International Cinematographers Guild confirmed that the shot woman was Hutchins, a director of photography.
“Details are unclear at this time, but we are working to find out more and support a full investigation into this tragic event,” Guild President John Lindley and Executive Director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement.
Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, worked as director of photography on the 2020 action film “Archenemy”, with Joe Manganiello. She was named “Rising Star” by the American filmmaker in 2019.
“I am so sad that I lost Halyna. And so furious that it could happen on a set, ”“ Archenemy ”director Adam Egypt Mortimer said on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely devoted to art and film.”
Her filmmate Manganiello called her “incredible talent” and “great person” on her Instagram account. He said he was lucky to have worked with Hutchins.
Baldwin previously teamed up as a producer with Souza on the 2019 film, “Crown Vic,” which starred Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles Police Force in a manhunt on two. violent bank robbers. Her first credited film, “Hanna’s Gold,” of 2010, was a scavenger hunt adventure starring Luke Perry.
MPs responded around 2 p.m. to the filming of the film at Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls described someone being shot on set, sheriff spokesman Juan Rios said. The ranch has been used in dozens of films, including the recent Tom Hanks western “News of the World”.
Rios said detectives were investigating the manner and type of projectile fired.
“This investigation remains open and active,” Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed regarding this incident. Witnesses continue to be questioned by detectives.
Filming for “Rust” was scheduled to continue in early November, according to a press release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The film is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother after their parents died in Kansas in the 1880s, according to the Internet Movie Database. The teenager runs away with his longtime grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy was sentenced to hang for the accidental murder of a local rancher.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, son of late martial arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44 caliber bullet while filming a death scene for the movie “The Crow”. The gun was believed to have fired blank, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.
A Twitter account maintained by Lee’s sister, Shannon, said: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and everyone involved in the incident on ‘Rust.’ No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period. “
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a propeller pistol while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the series. “Cover Up” television.
Berry reported from Phoenix. Associated Press film writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.
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