A woman has died and a man seriously injured after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while shooting a 19th-century western movie called Rust in New Mexico. Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, died of her injuries after being flown to a local hospital by helicopter. Meanwhile, 48-year-old director Joel Souza left Bonanza Creek Ranch, where the movie was filming, by ambulance and is said to be receiving treatment.
#BREAKING: @santafesheriff investigating incident at #Rust movie set on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. Pic from @KOB4 #Chopper4 shows an old church set blocked off, and set security confirms its lockdown. Other pic of Rust cast/crew. pic.twitter.com/8Cw9eg8kec
— Tessa Mentus (@TessaMentus) October 21, 2021
An emergency call about the shooting came in on Thursday afternoon. At roughly 13:50 local time, police said sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Bonanza Creek Ranch after receiving an emergency call about shooting on the set. The incident is said to have happened in the middle of filming a scene or while rehearsing it. Authorities were talking with those present to form a better picture of what happened.
No charges have been filed. A representative for Baldwin told The AP that the horrific accident was down to the misfiring of a prop gun, which was loaded with blanks. Santa Fe sheriff spokesman Juan Rios confirmed that Baldwin had spoken to detectives and that no charges have been fired at present. “He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews,” Rios said.
The International Cinematographer’s Guild expressed sadness at the “devastating news” of Halyna’s “terrible loss.” “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” said guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine.
Rust Movie Productions LLC has also issued a statement. “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
This kind of horrific accident is thankfully extremely uncommon. However, it does happen. While blanks technically don’t contain any projectiles, it’s possible for freak accidents to happen. For example, in 1993, Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee died on the set of The Crow after the prop gun was found to have a cartridge lodged in the barrel. That cartridge shot and killed Lee when a blank round was fired.
This is a devastating situation for all involved, including Baldwin, who must be beside himself over what’s happened.
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