Tragedy struck on a movie set out in New Mexico on Thursday (October 21), as word broke that an accident involving Alec Baldwin and a prop firearm resulted in the death of the film’s cinematographer and caused injury to the film’s director.
According to the Huffington Post, police from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s department were summoned to the set of Rust, a Western that Baldwin is producing as well as starring in around 2 P.M. local time. Upon their arrival at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, they found that the Sex and The City actor had fired a prop firearm which malfunctioned on discharge during a scene.
The malfunction’s impact struck cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Hutchins, 48, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she succumbed to her injuries.
In a statement to the press, International Cinematographers Guild 100 confirmed Hutchins’ passing: “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,” wrote President John Lindley and Executive Director Rebecca Rhine. “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 incident is eerily similar to the death of Brandon Lee, actor and son of the late movie icon Bruce Lee, on the set of The Crow in 1993.
Lee’s family released a statement expressing condolences via Twitter:
Souza, 48, was rushed to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe for emergency treatment. Baldwin was questioned by officers and was in tears outside of his trailer.
The sheriff’s office has declared that an active investigation is underway. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”, they said in a statement to the press. Rust is a Western where Baldwin plays the title character, an outlaw who seeks the truth when his 13-year old grandson is convicted of an accidental murder.
Baldwin issues a statement on the tragic incident via Twitter.
“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,” tweeted Baldwin on Friday morning (Oct. 22). “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”