A prop pistol fired by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is producing and starring in a Western film, killed his cinematographer and wounded the director on the film set outside of Santa Fe, authorities said.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s officials said Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer for the film Rust, and director Joel Souza were killed Thursday.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where medical staff pronounced her dead, authorities said.
Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.
Production of the film has been stopped.
A Baldwin spokesperson said there was an accident on set that involved the misfire of a spotlight support pistol.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin, 68, was seen Thursday outside the sheriff’s office crying, but attempts to obtain comment from him were unsuccessful.
The International Guild of Cinematographers confirmed that the woman fatally shot was Hutchins, a cinematographer.
“Details are unclear at this time, but we are working to obtain more information and support a full investigation into this tragic event,” union president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement.
Hutchins, 42, was the director of photography on the 2020 action film Archenemy, starring Joe Manganiello. A 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, she was named a “Rising Star” by the American cinematographer in 2019.
“I am so sad to lose Halyna. And I was so infuriated that this could happen on set, ”Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer said on Twitter. “He was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and film.”
Baldwin was a producer on Souza’s 2019 film Crown Vic, which stars Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles police officer in a chase of two violent bank robbers. His first credited film, 2010’s Hanna’s Gold, was a scavenger hunt adventure with Luke Perry.
Police responded around 2 p.m. to the film set at Bonanza Creek Ranch after they received 911 calls from a person who was shot on set, Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said.
He said detectives were investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.
“This investigation remains open and active,” Ríos said in a statement. “No charges have been filed regarding this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives. “
Filming for Rust was to continue through early November, according to a press release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The film is about a 13-year-old boy who must fend for himself and his younger brother after the death of his parents in Kansas in the 1880s, according to the Internet Movie Database website.
The teenager goes on the run with his grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental murder of a local rancher.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, the son of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a bullet while filming a death scene for the movie The Crow. The gun was supposed to have fired a target, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a support pistol while pretending to play Russian roulette with a pistol on the set of the television series Cover Up.
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