- SANTA FE, N.M.
Actor Alec Baldwin reportedly fired a prop gun on a movie set outside Santa Fe on Thursday (10/21), accidentally killing 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the film’s director, Joel Souza, who is receiving emergency care at a local hospital.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600, confirmed Hutchins’ passing.
A joint statement from Local 600 national president John Lindley and national executive director Rebecca Rhine read, “We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called ‘Rust’ in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set. The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.
Baldwin has a starring role in and is producing “Rust,” which is a Western. Production has been halted on the film.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Baldwin was seen Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in tears, but attempts to get comment from him were unsuccessful.
“According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios told the Albuquerque Journal. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
Associated Press reported that a spokesperson for Baldwin said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. According to AP, deputies responded about 2 p.m. to the movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls came in of a person being shot on set, Rios said.
Filming for “Rust” was set to continue into early November, according to a news release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.
AP cited prior accidental deaths involving gunfire on production sets. In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie “The Crow.” The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but an autopsy turned up a bullet lodged near his spine.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a prop gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series “Cover Up.”