Halyna Hutchins cinematographer shot and killed by Alec Baldwin while handling prop gun on movie set. Also struck and injured was director Joel Souza.
Movie actor, Alec Baldwin has shot and killed a cinematographer along with injuring a director on the set of the upcoming Western movie Rust, after a prop firearm he was using in a scene discharged in what is thought to have been an accident.
Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was fatally struck in the incident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also injured writer-director, Joel Souza, 48.
Baldwin, 63, was confirmed as the individual who fired the prop gun, which somehow unintentionally launched a projectile or projectiles at the crew members, in a statement from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office.
No criminal charges have been filed and the incident remains under investigation, police said. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Deadline that the incident was being investigated.
It was not immediately clear whether the prop gun was somehow loaded with real bullets, or if the gunpowder used in theatrical blanks may have launched debris of some kind from the barrel. The incident according to witnesses left the actor inconsolable, with Baldwin seen outside the sheriff’s office in tears on Thursday, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
#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
The gun was supposed to be loaded with blanks, but when the gun fired, ‘either shrapnel or a bullet hit two people on the set,’ one of whom needed to be airlifted to the hospital TMZ reported.
42-year-old Hutchins, who lived in Venice Beach, California, was considered one of Hollywood’s rising stars – named in a list of cinematographers to watch in 2019 by American Cinematographer.
The daughter of a soldier, Hutchins grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle before going to college in Ukrainian capital Kiev.
She later moved first to the U.K. to work on documentary filmmaking before traveling to LA to study for a master’s degree in cinematography and switching to movies according to the dailymail.
Her credits include horror film Darlin and, shortly before starting work on Rust, she had completed filming on Blindfire – a crime drama starring Brian Geraghty and Sharon Leal.
Rust, which Souza also wrote the screenplay for, is set in 1880s Kansas, following a young boy who goes on the run with his grandfather after the accidental killing of a local rancher.
Baldwin stars alongside Travis Fimmel, Jensen Ackles and Frances Fisher.