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Alec Baldwin has shot and killed a cinematographer on the set of the upcoming Western movie Rust, after a prop firearm he was using in a scene discharged in a tragic accident.
Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, was fatally struck in the incident at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also injured writer-director Joel Souza, 48.
Baldwin, 68, was confirmed as the individual who fired the prop gun, which somehow unintentionally launched a projectile or projectiles at the crew members, in a statement from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office.
No criminal charges have been filed and the incident remains under investigation, police said.
It was not immediately clear whether the prop gun was somehow loaded with real bullets, or if the gunpowder used in theatrical blanks may have launched debris of some kind from the barrel.
Hutchins’ devastated friends were too distraught to talk, but Ariel Vida, a production designer who worked with the director of photography on 2020 film Archenemy confirmed her death to DailyMail.com, tearfully adding: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t talk about this right now.’
James Cullen wrote: ‘I will miss you my friend. This is devastating.’
Another friend Jack Caswell added: ‘I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. You will be so missed’ while Tina Presley Borek said: ‘Heartbroken.’
42-year-old Hutchins, who lived in Venice Beach, California, was considered one of Hollywood’s rising stars – named in a list of cinematographers to watch in 2019 by American Cinematographer.
The daughter of a soldier, Hutchins grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle before going to college in Ukrainian capital Kiev.
She later moved first to the U.K. to work on documentary filmmaking before traveling to LA to study for a master’s degree in cinematography and switching to movies.
Her credits include horror film Darlin and, shortly before starting work on Rust, she had completed filming on Blindfire – a crime drama starring Brian Geraghty and Sharon Leal.
The daughter of a soldier, Hutchins grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle before going to college in Ukrainian capital Kiev. She later moved first to the U.K. to work on documentary filmmaking
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office says it responded to the movie set at around 1.50pm after a 911 caller indicated someone had been shot in the arm.
‘According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,’ the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
‘Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged,’ the statement added.
Police said that a 42-year-old female was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A 42-year-old man was rushed by ambulance to Cristus St. Vincent’s Hospital where he is being treated for injuries, and is expected to survive.