Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while filming a scene on a New Mexico set (Oct 21), causing the death of a cinematographer and injuring the director.
The incident happened on the set of Rust, a Western being filmed at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
According to the Santa Fe Country Sheriff’s office (per Variety), the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she succumbed to her injuries.
The director, Joel Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre in Santa Fe, where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
The Sheriff’s office spokesperson said that Baldwin, 63, had spoken with detectives. "He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews," the spokesperson said.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the 30 Rock actor was questioned by investigators and was in tears.
Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.
According to The New York Times, the scene was either being rehearsed or filmed, which means there is a possibility the misfiring could have been caught on camera.
#BREAKING: @santafesheriff investigating incident at #Rust movie set on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. Pic from @KOB4 #Chopper4 shows an old church set blocked off, and set security confirms its lockdown. Other pic of Rust cast/crew. pic.twitter.com/8Cw9eg8kec— Tessa Mentus (@TessaMentus) October 21, 2021
In a statement, the International Cinematographer's Guild said Hutchins' death was "devastating news" and "a terrible loss".
Guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said, "The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event.”
Director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who worked with Hutchins on the 2020 action film Archenemy, took to Twitter to mourn her passing.
He tweeted, "I'm so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set.”
I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vcdFqHsGA0— Adam Egypt Mortimer (@adamegypt) October 22, 2021
Written and directed by Joel Souza, Rust is a 19th-centry-set Western about Baldwin’s eponymous outlaw on the lam with his 13-year-old grandson, who’s convicted of an accidental murder.
Baldwin is a co-producer of the film which also stars Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles as a US Marshal and The Vikings’ Travis Fimmel as a bounty hunter, both on the trail of the fugitives.
Earlier on Thursday, Baldwin shared a now-deleted picture of him on set a few hours before the incdent, dressed in a period costume and with fake blood on his shirt. “Back to in-person at the office,” he captioned the photograph. “Blimey…it’s exhausting.”
This isn't the first time an on-set fatality involving prop firearms. In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on the set of the TV series Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks.
In 1993, Brandon Lee died after he was shot in the abdomen with a prop gun on the set of The Crow by another actor. A worker had created a makeshift bullet that was mistakenly left in a gun used to film the scene; a piece of the slug was lodged in Lee's spine.
Both incidents were ruled an accident.
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos