A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring and producing a Western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director, police said.
Sheriff’s officials in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for the movie Rust, and director Joel Souza were shot on Thursday.
Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, authorities said.
Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre, where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
Production has been halted on the film.
A spokesperson for Baldwin said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported the 68-year-old Baldwin was seen outside the sheriff’s office in tears on Thursday, but attempts to get comment from him were unsuccessful.
The International Cinematographers Guild confirmed that the woman fatally shot was Hutchins, a cinematographer.
“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement.
Hutchins, 42, was 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 American Cinematographer in 2019.
“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” said Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer on Twitter.
“She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said a 42-year-old woman was airlifted to a hospital, where she died, while a 42-year-old man was getting emergency care at another hospital. (KOAT 7 News/AP)[/caption
Deputies responded about 2pm to the movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls came in of a person being 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,” Mr Rios said in a statement.
“No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”
Filming for Rust was set to continue into early November, according to a news release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The sister of late actor Brandon Lee has said “no-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set”.
Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period. 💔— Brandon Bruce Lee (@brandonblee) October 22, 2021
Lee, 28, the son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, was killed in 1993 after he was shot on the set of the film The Crow.
The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but a post mortem examination found a .44-calibre bullet lodged near his spine.
A statement on Lee’s official Twitter account, which is run by Lee’s sister Shannon, said: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust.’
The incidents that killed Lee and Hutchins are part of a long history of tragedies on film sets.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a prop gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series Cover Up.
During the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982, a helicopter crash killed actor Vic Morrow and two children, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, while filming a scene involving explosions, which damaged the helicopter’s rotors.
In 2002 Vin Diesel’s stunt double on the action film xXx, Harry O’Connor, died while he was performing a paragliding stunt.
A stunt expert was also killed on the set of Batman film The Dark Knight.
Conway Wickliffe was leaning out the window of a car operating a camera when the car crashed into a tree.