A female cinematographer working on the set of an upcoming western, ‘Rust’, died after lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun. The film’s director was also harmed in the shooting and is in intensive care.
The incident took place around 1:50pm local time on Thursday. Halyna Hutchins, 42, and ‘Rust’ director Joel Souza, 48, were rushed to the hospital from the set on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a film location in northern New Mexico.
Hutchins, who was director of photography, has since succumbed to her wounds, while Souza “is undergoing treatment for his injuries,” the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said.
Sheriff’s office identify two people shot on the set of Rust and say Alec Baldwin discharged the prop firearm.Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, died after being airlifted to UNMHJoel Souza, 48, Director, is being treated for his injuries. pic.twitter.com/5Z3M1mYEWe
— Joy Wang (@JoyKOB) October 22, 2021
An investigation has been launched over the “projectile” with which the female victim was shot. “It appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the department said in a statement.
#UPDATE UNMH has confirmed at least one person was transported there in critical condition following a shooting incident on the set of Alec Baldwin’s production of ‘Rust’ at Bonanza Creek Ranch. Still unclear where the 2nd cast member was transported to @krqepic.twitter.com/4wQYW3gMRv
— Jami Seymore (@JamiSeymore) October 21, 2021
In an update on Thursday, it said that “the investigation remains open and active,” noting that “no charges have been filed in regard to this incident” as the witnesses are being questioned.
Baldwin was seen looking visibly distraught at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting.
BREAKING: A distraught Alec Baldwin, after he accidentally shot & killed the cinematographer on the set of his new movie, & wounded the writer-director. How on earth could this have happened?Pics: Jim Weber @thenewmexican pic.twitter.com/xrvcheLaCK
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 22, 2021
The actor has reportedly been interviewed by investigators.
Deadline reported earlier that the incident occurred during a rehearsal, and that “a principal cast member… cocked a gun… unaware there were live rounds in it.”
A production spokesman confirmed to Deadline that the incident involved “the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” insisting that “the safety” of the cast was a “top priority.” The movie town was put on lockdown in wake of the incident.
#UPDATE: Staff and crew on set of “Rust” near Bonanza Creek Ranch can be seen leaving.A source tells us production has been halted for the day, but we are awaiting for an official statement from the company. @koat7newspic.twitter.com/MdHF2HT7Dh
— Breana Albizu KOAT (@BreanaAlbizu) October 21, 2021
‘Rust’ is directed by Souza and produced by Baldwin, who also stars as one of the film’s main characters, Harland Rust. Rust is an outlaw and estranged grandfather of a 13-year-old boy, Lucas, played by Brady Noon, who faces hanging after accidentally killing a local rancher. After Harland frees Lucas from custody, the two flee while being chased by a marshal and a bounty hunter.
The on-set mishap is not the first of its kind. While filming for ‘The Crow’ in 1993, Brandon Lee – the son of Bruce Lee – was shot and killed by an improperly loaded prop gun.