Alec Baldwin shot: Halyna Hutchins killed, Joel Souza injured in a misfire on the set of Jensen Ackles’ film “Rust” in Santa Fe

SANTA FE, NM – Actor Alec Baldwin fired a propeller pistol on the set of a western and killed the cinematographer, officials said. The director of the film was injured and authorities are investigating what happened.

Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on “Rust,” and director Joel Souza were shot in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Baldwin said there had been an accident involving the misfiring of a prop pistol with blanks. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s spokesperson Juan Rios said detectives were investigating what type of projectile was fired and how. No immediate charges were laid.

It was not clear whether Baldwin was playing at the time of the shooting or how many shots were fired and little was known about the weapon. Baldwin tweeted on Friday, expressing condolences to the Hutchins family and calling the shooting an accident.

“There are no words to express my shock and sadness over the tragic accident that claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins, a deeply admired wife, mother and colleague. I fully cooperate with the police investigation.” , he wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Images of the 63-year-old actor – known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” as well as his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” – ​​showed him distraught in front of the sheriff. office on Thursday.

Propeller pistols fire blank, gunpowder charges that produce a flash and bang but not a hard projectile. But when the trigger is pulled, the paper or plastic padding is ejected from the barrel with sufficient force to be lethal at close range, as was found to be the case with an actor’s death in 1984. In Another accident on set in 1993, actor Brandon Lee was killed after a bullet was left in a propeller pistol.

The gun safety protocol on set in the United States has improved dramatically since then, said Steven Hall, a veteran of photography in Britain. But he said one of the riskiest positions is using the camera – noting that this person would be in the crosshairs in gripping scenes where someone appears pointing a gun at the audience.

Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Souza, 48, who suffered a collarbone injury, was taken by ambulance to a medical center.

Sheriff’s deputies responded around 2 p.m. to the filming of the film at Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls described someone being shot, Rios, the sheriff’s spokesman, said. The ranch has been used in dozens of films, including the recent Tom Hanks western “News of the World”.

“This investigation remains open and active,” Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed regarding this incident. Witnesses continue to be questioned by detectives.”

Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, worked as cinematographer on the 2020 action film “Archenemy”, starring Joe Manganiello. She was named a “rising star” by the American filmmaker in 2019.

“I’m so sad that I lost Halyna. And so furious that it could happen on a set,” “Archenemy” director Adam Egypt Mortimer said on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely devoted to art and film.”

Manganiello called Hutchins “incredible talent” and “great person” on his Instagram account. He said he was lucky to have worked with her.

Hutchins had Ukrainian nationality, according to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko. The country’s consulate in San Francisco is clarifying what happened and is working with law enforcement.

Baldwin previously teamed up as a producer with Souza on the 2019 film, “Crown Vic,” which starred Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles Police Force in a Manhunt for Two. violent bank robbers. Souza’s first credited film, “Hanna’s Gold” of 2010, was a scavenger hunt adventure starring Luke Perry.

Production was stopped on “Rust”. The film is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother after their parents died in Kansas in the 1880s, according to the Internet Movie Database. The teenager runs away with his longtime grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy was sentenced to hang for the accidental murder of a local rancher.

In 1993, Lee, son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44 caliber bullet while filming a death scene for the movie “The Crow”. The gun was believed to have fired blank, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine.

A Twitter account maintained by Lee’s sister, Shannon, said: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and everyone involved in the incident on ‘Rust.’ No one should ever be killed by a gun on a movie set. Full stop. “

In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a propeller pistol while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the series. “Cover Up” television.

Such shootings have also occurred during historical reenactments. In 2015, an actor staging a historic shootout in the Old West Arizona town of Tombstone was shot and wounded with a live bullet during a show that purported to use blanks.

In Hill City, South Dakota, a tourist town that recreates a Wild West experience, three spectators were injured in 2011 when an actor fired real bullets instead of blank bullets.


Berry reported from Phoenix. Associated Press film writer Jake Coyle and writers Yuras Karmanau in Kiev, Ukraine, and Jocelyn Noveck in New York City contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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