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Alec Baldwin discharged prop gun in incident that killed cinematographer, injured director, authorities say

  • October 22, 2021

Alec Baldwin discharged the prop gun while filming a scene on Thursday, authorities say.

A helicopter transported cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. The director, 42-year-old Joel Souza, was transported via ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital and is receiving emergency treatment for his injuries.

“According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” a release from the sheriff’s office said. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Deputies responded to a 911 call Thursday afternoon that someone had been shot on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of “Rust,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The incident is still under active investigation and no charges have been filed, the sheriff’s office said. Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses.

“Rust” stars Baldwin, who also serves as a producer on the film.

A spokesperson for Baldwin told The Associated Press said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

USA TODAY has reached out to a representative for Baldwin for comment.

Hutchins previously served as director of cinematography for 2020’s “Archenemy,” starring Joe Manganiello. Souza last directed 2019’s “Crown Vic,” a feature starring Bridget Moynahan that was also produced by Baldwin.

Hutchins’ most recent Instagram posts showcased images from the Bonanza Creek Ranch set. 

Reactions began rolling in from Hollywood on Thursday evening.

“I’m so sad about losing Halyna,” tweeted director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who worked with Hutchins on “Archenemy.” “And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”

“Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes out to her family,” wrote Elijah Wood on Twitter.

“My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins her family,” wrote director James Gunn. 

The movie “Rust” is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s Kansas, according to IMDb.com. The teen goes on the run with his long estranged grandfather after he’s sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

Prop guns have been previously implicated in deaths on entertainment productions.

Alec Baldwin defends portraying Donald Trump on ‘SNL’ while president is hospitalized

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