Director of photography killed by a prop gun on set of Alec Baldwin movie ‘Rust’
Reports from Santa Fe suggest that the actor, who was producer on the Western, accidentally discharged a firearm and Halyna Hutchins was later pronouced dead.
The Santa Fe Country Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography on upcoming Western movie ‘Rust’, was fatally shot by a prop gun on set.
NPR report that the weapon was discharged by actor Alec Baldwin, who was a producer on the film. Hutchins was immediately airlifted to the University of New Mexico hospital but was later pronounced dead. A second victim, Joel Souza, is currently hospitalised at Christus St. Vincent Medical Center.
No charges have been filed and the incident is said to have been a tragic accident, but law enforcement are interviewing witnesses at the scene.
What happened on the set of Alec Baldwin film 'Rust'?
The incident took place at around 1:50pm on Thursday on the set of 'Rust' at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico. It is thought that a scene involving a gun was either being filmed or being rehearsed when a gun was fired, hitting Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48.
"According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged," said sheriff's spokesman Juan Rios. "Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged."
“We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” he added.
The New York Times report that neither the film's producers nor representatives for Baldwin, 63, were available to comment. However the Santa Fe New Mexican have claimed that Baldwin was seen shortly after the incident, in tears outside the sheriff's office.
John Lindley, Cinematographers Guild’s National President, and Rebecca Rhine, National Executive Director, have released a statement: “We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called Rust in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set."
They continue: “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event."
“This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”
The filming of ‘Rust’ was scheduled to continue into early November but Thursday’s tragic events have seen the production halted.
More on this breaking news story as it develops…