Alec Baldwin fired prop gun in shooting that killed 1, injured 1 on set

AP Entertainment

SANTA FE, N.M. — A woman was killed and a man injured Thursday after they were each shot with a prop firearm fired by Alec Baldwin at a movie set outside Santa Fe, authorities said.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said Halyna Hutchins, 42, the film’s director of photography, was airlifted to a hospital where she died. Joel Souza, 48, the director, was injured and was being treated at the hospital.

Souza was reportedly released from the hospital on Friday morning, according to a tweet from actress Frances Fisher, who also stars in the film.

Production has been halted on the Western film, entitled “Rust.”

A spokesperson for Baldwin, 68, said earlier Thursday there had been an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Baldwin was seen Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in tears; he did not comment on the situation.

“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.”

Deputies responded about 2 p.m. local time to the movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls came in of a person being shot on set, Rios said.

“This investigation remains open and active,” Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, worked as director of photography on the 2020 action film “Archenemy,” starring Joe Manganiello. She was named a “rising star” by American Cinematographer in 2019.

“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” said “Archenemy” director Adam Egypt Mortimer on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”

Manganiello called Hutchins “an incredible talent” and “a great person” on his Instagram account. He said he was lucky to have worked with her.

Baldwin teamed up as a producer previously with Souza on the 2019 film, “Crown Vic,” which starred Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles police officer on a manhunt for two violent bank robbers. Souza’s first credited film, 2010’s “Hanna’s Gold,” was a treasure hunt adventure featuring Luke Perry.

Filming for “Rust” was originally 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.

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.

A Twitter account run by Lee’s sister Shannon said: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all 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 prop gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series ″Cover Up.″

PIX11 sister station KTLA contributed.

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