The US movie star Alec Baldwin has fired a prop gun on a film set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
In a statement, police said that the incident occurred on Thursday on the set of independent feature film Rust at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico state.
The statement said, “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.”
Authorities said that Hutchins was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, while Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical centre to undergo treatment for his injuries.
It was not immediately known how serious Souza’s injuries were, although actress Frances Fisher tweeted early Friday that “Souza texted me that he’s out of hospital.”
No charges filed yet
Police said that no charges have yet been filed regarding the incident adding they are investigating the shooting and interviewing witnesses.
A spokesperson for Baldwin said that there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
The spokesperson added, “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
Talking to media, Santa Fe sheriff spokesman Juan Rios said, “Mr Baldwin was interviewed by detectives. He provided statements and answered their questions. He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin was seen on Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in tears, but attempts to get a comment from him were unsuccessful.
Baldwin is a co-producer in the Western movie set in 1880s Kansas and plays the eponymous Rust, an outlaw grandfather of a 13-year-old boy convicted of accidental murder.
Most recently famous for his impersonations of former US President Donald Trump on NBC’s comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live, Baldwin has a long history in film and television, including roles in Glengarry Glen Ross and 30 Rock.
Tributes pour in for slain cinematographer
Originally from Ukraine, Hutchins once worked as an investigative reporter in Europe.
She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of American Cinematographers’ Rising Stars of 2019, according to her website biography.
Her last Instagram post, two days ago, was a video of her riding on a horse, wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
“One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:)” she said in the post.
April Wright, a writer, director and producer, paid tribute to Hutchins on Facebook.
“I’m in disbelief,” wrote Wright. “So young, vibrant, and talented. Such a wonderful soul. My heart goes out to her son and family.”
The incident recalled the 1993 death of actor Brandon Lee, the son of film legend Bruce Lee, who was shot and killed by a bullet in the barrel of a prop gun while filming The Crow.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’,” Lee’s sister, Shannon, who runs his official Twitter page, tweeted on Friday.
“No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”
This story was originally published here.