In a tragic accident on Thursday, actor Alec Baldwin shot a prop gun on the set of Rust, a Western he was filming in New Mexico, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding director Joel Souza. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday:
Authorities have launched an investigation into Thursday’s events, with Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios telling The New York Times, “We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm.”
According to a recent IndieWire report, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44, a union that covers propmasters, sent out an email to its members on Friday morning saying that the prop gun fired by Baldwin contained “a live round” and that Rust’s propmaster was not a member of Local 44. Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital and later died from her injuries, while Souza was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and was released on Friday.
No charges have been filed in the shooting. “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,” Rust Movie Productions LLC said in a statement, adding, “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.”