Alec Baldwin has fired a prop gun during the filming of his new project Rust, a film he is producer and star of. The actor accidentally shot and killed a member of the filming crew named Halyna Hutchins, and also injured director Joel Souza.
The movie was being filmed at the Bonanza Creek ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the filming has been temporarily suspended following the accident. County deputies of Santa Fe were called to the set shortly after the shooting, which took place on Thursday.
After being shot, Hutchins, who was 42 and worked as the director of photography on the movie, was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital by helicopter, where she later died from her injuries. 48 year-old Joel Souza was taken via ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre, where he received treatment for the injuries that he had sustained.
In a statement, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office has said that the two people were shot when a prop firearm was fired by Baldwin. The movie itself is based on an accidental killing; Baldwin plays a character whose son is convicted of manslaughter. Noone has been arrested relating to the incident, and no charges have been filed, according to the office.
Baldwin is best known for his appearance as Jack Donaughy in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, his portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and lending his voice to the animated film Boss Baby. A spokesperson for the actor has said that the accident involved misfiring a prop gun with blanks. In a statement to AFP news agency, the Sheriff's spokesman mentioned that Baldwin had spoken to detectives on the scene, saying, "He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews."
Hutchins was originally from Ukraine, and was lauded as a “rising star” by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019. She was recently the director of photography for the 2020 action movie Archenemy, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer, who said in a tweet regarding the accident: "I'm so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set.”
The accident echoes that of a similar mishap in 1993, where actor Brandon Lee, son of famous martial artist Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop gun on the set of the filming for The Crow. Lee’s sister, Shannon, tweeted: "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."