Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun That Killed 'Rust' Cinematographer and Injured Director, Sheriff Says
By Zach Seemayer
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Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of his film Rust on Thursday, accidentally shooting and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring the film's director, Joel Souza, the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed to ET.
Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, according to authorities. She was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the hospital. Souza, 48, was receiving emergency medical care after being transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center in Santa Fe.
The Sheriff’s Department tells ET, "This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."
It's unclear how the incident occurred or the circumstances surrounding the discharging of the prop gun. Authorities were photographed on the scene of the shooting, which occurred on the set of the Western drama filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
Baldwin was reportedly questioned by investigators on Thursday at the Sheriff's Department, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. The 63-year-old actor was also photographed outside the sheriff's department after answering questions, and reportedly was in tears as he spoke with someone on the phone.
Cinematographers Guild National President John Lindley and National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine released a statement to ET regarding the tragedy, sharing, "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. 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."
On Thursday morning, just hours before the shooting, Baldwin took to Instagram to share a photo from the set of the Western, showing himself in his character's wardrobe, which included a stained shirt soaked in fake blood. Baldwin wrote, "Back to in person at the office. Blimey…it’s exhausting."
The image has since been removed.
Rust is a Western about a 13 year-old boy left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880's Kansas. The boy is forced to go on the run with his long estranged grandfather after he's sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.