- BBC News World
Film director Joel Souza said Saturday that he is “devastated by the loss” of his “friend and colleague” Halyna Hutchins after a firearm accident.
It is Souza’s first statement since the accident occurred last Thursday on the set of Rust, the film he directed in New Mexico, United States.
Hutchins was killed and Souza was injured when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop pistol containing a real bullet.
Souza thanked his followers for their “outpouring of affection.”
According to court records, an assistant director was unaware that the prop pistol contained live ammunition. He handed the gun to Baldwin and told the actor that it was safe to fire.
Hutchins, a 42-year-old cinematographer, was fatally shot in the chest in the accident Thursday on the set of the film, in Santa Fe.
Souza, 48, who was behind Hutchins, was wounded in the shoulder, was treated at a hospital and was later released.
Police are still investigating the accident and no charges have been brought against anyone.
What did Souza say
In his statement, Souza said: “I am devastated by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna. She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better.”
“My thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time. I am humbled and grateful for the great amount of affection we have received from our film community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out … Definitely it helps in my recovery, “he added.
On Friday, Baldwin, who was the film’s lead and producer, said he was “fully cooperating” with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
“My heart is broken for her husband, her son and everyone who knew and loved Halyna,” she wrote on Twitter.
On Rust, Baldwin plays an outlaw whose grandson is sentenced to hang for an accidental murder.
Hutchins, 42, was from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. He studied journalism in Kiev and film in Los Angeles. She was the cinematographer on the 2020 action movie Archenemy.
She leaves her husband, Matthew, and a nine-year-old son.
What else is known about him accident
According Los Angeles Times, about half a dozen members of the camera crew from Rust They had left hours before the tragedy after protesting working conditions on the set of Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe.
Previously, there were at least three misfires of prop weapons on set, sources told the Times.
Workers also complained that they had been promised hotel rooms in Santa Fe, but once filming of the wexternalThey had to drive 50 miles from Albuquerque every morning.
The BBC obtained a document showing which team members were scheduled to be on set on the day of the accident.
The registry names Hannah Gutierrez Reed, a member of the team responsible for reviewing the firearms.
Gutierrez Reed is less than 30 years old and had recently held the position for the first time, in the film The Old Way.
On a podcast in September, she said she almost turned down the job “because I wasn’t sure if I was ready … but doing it, it turned out really well.”
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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.