Alec Baldwin shoots crew member fatally on “Rust” set, authorities say
Alec Baldwin discharged a gun on the set of a western he was shooting in New Mexico on Thursday, killing the film’s director of photography and injuring the film’s director, authorities said.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed and director Joel Souza, 48, was injured around 1:50 p.m. on the set of “Rust,” which is filmed in Santa Fe County, said Juan Rios, a spokesperson. for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation.
Mr Rios said the shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch occurred in the middle of a scene being rehearsed or filmed. He said the sheriff’s office was interviewing people on set to determine how the two were shot.
“We are trying to determine at the moment how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” he said.
Mr Rios said Thursday evening that the sheriff’s office had not filed a complaint against anyone in connection with the shooting.
Ms Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque, where she later died, Mr Rios said. Mr. Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. Mr. Souza’s condition was not immediately available.
The film’s producers and a representative for Mr Baldwin, 63, did not immediately respond to emails or phone calls Thursday night.
In a statement, the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, said, “All of the cast and crew have been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we extend our deepest condolences. to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have ceased production of the film indefinitely and are cooperating fully with the investigation by the Santa Fe Police Department. We will provide counseling services to anyone related to the film as we work to deal with this horrific event. “
On Thursday morning, Mr Baldwin posted a photo to Instagram in his movie costume, which included what appeared to be a prosthetic injury to his torso.
According to Ms Hutchins’ website, she was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Ukraine and cinema in Los Angeles.
She described herself as a “restless dreamer” and “adrenaline junkie” on her Instagram profile. She posted several images this month of the set of “Rust,” including a video Tuesday of her riding on her horse on her day off.
In a statement, John Lindley, national president of the International Cinematographers Guild, and Rebecca Rhine, the organization’s national executive director, called Ms Hutchins’ death “devastating news.”
“Details are unclear at this time, but we are working to find out more and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” their statement said. “It is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a family member in our Guild.”
An Oct. 6 New Mexico Film Bureau statement said Rust Movie Productions would employ 75 crew members, 22 actors and 230 “background talent.”
“Rust” is a film about a 13-year-old boy who runs away with his estranged grandfather after the accidental murder of a local rancher, according to IMDb. The film, due to be shot this month and next, is directed by Mr. Souza and stars Frances Fisher and Mr. Baldwin, who is also producing the film.
The shooting echoed an accident on a film set in 1993 in which actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed during a scene where a bullet lodged in the barrel of a pistol was discharged with a blank cartridge. “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza”, Shannon Lee, sister of Brandon Lee tweeted late Thursday.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally shot himself in the head and died while pretending to play Russian roulette during a televised scene.
Mr. Baldwin, an Emmy Award-winning actor, has had a long career in film, theater and television. In one of his most well-known roles, he played Jack Donaghy, an oblivious and domineering television executive on the sitcom “30 Rock,” which aired on NBC from 2006 to 2013.
He also portrayed Donald J. Trump on “Saturday Night Live” with a bespoke wig, glued eyebrows and puckered lips. He and Mr. Trump have occasionally fought on social media.
Mr. Baldwin also has a history of involvement with the police.
In 2014, he was arrested after riding his bike the wrong way on Fifth Avenue near 16th Street in Manhattan. Officers charged him with disorderly conduct after saying he had become belligerent.
In 2019, Mr Baldwin pleaded guilty to harassment in Manhattan Criminal Court and agreed to take an anger management course as part of a deal with prosecutors to dispose of the charges he assaulted a man during a dispute concerning a parking space.
Nicole sperling contributed reports.