LOS ANGELES (CBSLA / AP) – One crew member was killed and another was injured Thursday afternoon when actor Alec Baldwin fired a plug gun at a movie in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The filming took place on the set of the independent western film “Rust”. The director who handed over the firearm to Baldwin did not know it was loaded.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, director of photography, and 42-year-old Joel Souza, the film’s director, were shot dead when Baldwin fired the cork firearm at about 6 p.m. Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set.
Hutchins was taken by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died, the sheriff’s office said. She leaves behind a husband and a young son.
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Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries. Actress Frances Fisher, who is in “Rust,” says Souza has been discharged from the hospital.
Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said detectives were investigating how and what type of projectile was being discharged. According to a report by Indiewire, IATSE Local 44, which includes prop masters, sent a letter to its members on Friday stating that the gun fired by Baldwin contained a live round. It also claimed that the prop master of “Rust” was not a member of IATSE Local 44.
“If anyone actually put a live round in there, No. 1, which should not have been on set, and No. 2, they should have visually inspected the gun first with a pencil down the barrel and a flashlight to make sure no obstacle in the mechanism, ”veteran filmmaker Bill Davis told CBSLA on Thursday. “And No. 3, they have to inspect the round that goes in there. So it sounds to me if anyone was actually killed, which they did, it should be a live round of ammunition. ”
Production on “Rust” has stopped.
“They’re all real firearms,” Davis added. “What is false about it is the ammunition, the items that are loaded in it. There is no projectile in the vacuum. But what I think happened was that people just did not inspect the weapon and / or did not inspect the ammunition they put in it. ”
Santa Fe New Mexican shared photos of a terrified Baldwin outside the sheriff’s office after the shooting.
“There are no words to convey my shock and grief over the tragic accident that took the lives of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter Friday. “I am fully cooperating with the police investigation to solve how this tragedy arose, and I am in contact with her husband and offer my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son and everyone who knew and loved Halyna. ”
“Rust” is about a 13-year-old boy who has to fend for himself and his younger brother after the death of their parents in Kansas in the 1880s, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teenager runs away with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the unintentional killing of a local rancher.
The film also stars Jensen Ackles and Travis Fimmel.
“She really was a rising star, I was very impressed and proud of her,” friend and filmmaker Gustavo Sampaio told CBSLA on Friday. Sampaio was working on a short film with Sampaio in 2017. “I often thought that I would work with her again. But she grew so fast, she made these great movies now. ”
Hutchins decided to become a filmmaker after a career as a journalist in his native Ukraine.
“She was just very kind,” Sampaio said. “That’s the main word when I think of, when I think of Halyna.”
Fisher posted a photo on Instagram Friday of her and Hutchins taken on the Rust set.
“Rest in paradise dear Halyna,” Fisher wrote. I loved watching you work: Your intense focus and your living command over space. I asked you to stand next to me in our #IAsolidarity #RUST cast & crew photo because I wanted to make sure you were in front and in the center as there are so few non-male directors of photography. There’s a line from #Unforgiven that I might one day have the courage to put here. It pretty much sums it all up. In the meantime, my prayers are for your family and for all who love and miss you. ”
Hutchins was a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, which issued a statement that read in part: “The details are unclear at the moment, but we are working to learn more and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we are sad that a member of our guild’s family has passed away. ”
In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, the son of late martial arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a 0.44 caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie “The Crow”. The gun should have fired a subject, but an autopsy showed a bullet lying close to his back.
A Twitter account run by Lee’s sister Shannon said: “Our heart goes out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and everyone involved in the incident on ‘Rust’. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a movie set. Period.”
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a plug gun while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the TV series “Cover Up”.
“We are devastated by this tragic news,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement on Thursday. “Our hearts go out to the family of Photography Director Halyna Hutchins, who has died, and to Director Joel Souza, who is injured and hospitalized. This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with the production, the other unions and the authorities to investigate this incident and understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again. ”
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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