The prop gun misfired, according to Deadline, when Baldwin was holding it on the New Mexico set of the movie “Rust.” According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Baldwin was questioned by authorities and seen in tears. The newspaper reported that authorities were trying “to determine if the incident was an accident.”
“There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of ‘Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” one of the film’s producers said in a statement to ABC News. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
A news release from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office says that deputies “were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set of the western ‘Rust,’ October 21, 2021, when a 911 caller reported a shooting on the set.” According to Variety, Baldwin, a co-producer on the movie, plays “infamous outlaw Rust, whose 13-year-old grandson is convicted of an accidental murder.”
The sheriff’s office “confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.” Hutchins died in the incident.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic incident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, was also killed in a prop gun accident on the set of a movie, “The Crow.” According to Biography.com, in that case, a bullet had become stuck in a prop gun that was only supposed to fire blanks. It’s not yet clear what specifically led to the prop gun mishap that ended Hutchins’ life.
Here’s what you need to know:
No Charges Have Been Filed But Additional Details Have Come to Light
The New Mexican reported that affidavits show Baldwin was told the prop gun was a “cold gun” when he was handed it by an assistant director, David Halls, who told police he did not realize it was loaded. Hutchins was shot in the chest, and Souza, who was standing behind her, in the shoulder, the newspaper reported, adding that a union official claimed the gun had a “live round.” The newspaper reported that the “cart of prop guns” was handled by “Hannah Gutierrez, an armorer.”
In a news release, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said Hutchins was “transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.”
The investigation “remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives,” the release said.
It’s not yet clear whether there is any criminal culpability. “Deputies say the incident happened when a prop gun was discharged on #Rust set – looking into how and what type of projectile was discharged,” tweeted Tessa Mentus, KOB4 evening anchor.
Hutchins, Who Studied Cinematography, Was From Ukraine
On her Facebook page, Hutchins described herself as the “Director of Photography at ICG: International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600).”
She wrote that she “studied Cinematography at AFI Conservatory,” lived in Los Angeles, California, and was from Kyiv, Ukraine. According to her IMDB profile, Hutchins was “known for her work on Archenemy (2020), Darlin’ (2019) and Blindfire (2020).”
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