- BBC News World
The day Brandon Lee died, fiction turned into tragedy.
It was March 30, 1993 and the young American actor, specialist like his father, Bruce Lee, in action films and martial arts, was shooting sequences for the movie “The Raven”, based on the comic of the same name.
In one of the scenes they were filming that night, Lee’s character had to enter an apartment and discover that his girlfriend was being beaten and raped by four gang members, one of whom – played by actor Michael Massee – had to shoot him at close range. -with a revolver loaded with blank bullets- and kill him.
The filming of the scene went according to plan, but at the end of it it became clear that something had gone wrong, as Lee never got up from the floor. I was mortally wounded.
Twelve hours later, the young actor died in a hospital.
Since Lee’s death in 1993, the film industry in the United States had not suffered a fatal firearm accident until the incident on Thursday in which actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming the cowboy movie Rust.
This Friday, Shannon Lee, Brandon’s sister, issued a statement on Twitter after learning of the fatal incident in which Hutchins died.
“Our hearts go out to the Halyna Hutchins family and to Joel Souza and to everyone involved in the Rust incident,” he wrote, referring respectively to the director of photography and the director of the film, who was also injured.
“No one should ever To die for a gun on his recording set. Period, “he added.
But how was the accident in which Brandon Lee lost his life?
A deadly mistake
The protagonist of “El Cuervo” died from the damage caused by a bullet that went through his abdomen, damaged several of his internal organs and lodged in his spine.
The weapon they were using to record their scene was supposed to contain a blank bullet, but was instead tipped by a .44 caliber projectile.
Salvage bullets are essentially modified live bullets that contain gunpowder, but do not have a projectile.
However, in the case of “The Raven”, apparently the weapon used to shoot Brandon Lee contained a piece of projectile that had become lodged in the barrel of the gun during the filming of a different scene shot in previous days.
The weapon was not inspected between scenes And then, when that fateful March 30 was used against Brandon Lee, the explosion of the salvo cartridge fired the piece of projectile that was lodged in the barrel, wounding him to death.
After an investigation that lasted for months, the prosecution decided not to charge anyone for Lee’s death, despite the fact that it seemed clear that some kind of negligence had been committed.
In September 1993, District Attorney Jerry Spivey announced that the police investigation had not disclosed evidence of any crime and that he would not press charges against anyone involved in the filming or against Crowvision, the film’s production company.
“There is a part of me that wants to press charges and have a trial, but from a purely legal standpoint, I would not feel comfortable, with the circumstances as I know them, accusing Crowvision of negligent manslaughter,” Spivey said.
Thus, despite the fact that negligence was evidently an element that influenced Lee’s death, the Prosecutor’s Office considered that it was not a deliberate and gratuitous negligence, of the type that the law seeks to sanction.
After the suspension of filming, the filming of “The Raven” was resumed and the film was completed using some tricks so that the absence of Brandon Lee was not noticed.
The impact of the tragedy, however, was long-lasting and not just for the dead actor’s family.
Shocked by what happened, actor Michael Massee took a year off before being able to go back to work And, as he confessed in an interview in 2005, it took him a long time to be able to move on with his life.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to completely get over something like that,” said Massee, who passed away in 2016 without ever having seen the film.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.