In a film set in New Mexico, US actor Alec Baldwin shot a pretend gun, killing a cinematographer and injuring the director, according to US law authorities.
The incident occurred on the set of “Rust,” in which Baldwin is starring in a 19th-century western about an unintentional murder.
Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin,” the sheriff in Santa Fe said in a statement.
Hutchins, 42, was rushed to the hospital by helicopter but died as a result of her injuries, whereas Souza, 48, was transferred by ambulance and was being treated.
“Rust” actress Frances Fisher tweeted that he was subsequently released from the hospital, citing a text from him.
Interviewing Alec Baldwin
“Mr. Baldwin was interviewed by detectives,” Santa Fe sheriff spokesman Juan Rios told AFP.
“He provided statements and answered their questions. He came involuntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican released photos of a distressed Baldwin taken in the set’s parking lot after the incident, claiming they were taken there.
According to the newspaper, after being questioned by detectives, the actor was observed in tears by a reporter.
In one shot, a man appears to be doubled over, which is thought to be Baldwin.
A spokesperson for Baldwin told PEOPLE magazine Thursday that “there was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.”
“The entire cast and crew has been devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” a spokesperson from the production told The Hollywood Reporter.
“We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation.”
Details about Hutchins
According to her website, Hutchins, who was from Los Angeles, was named one of American Cinematographers’ Rising Stars of 2019.
She was born in Ukraine and raised on a Soviet military outpost near the Arctic Circle, according to the website.
The filming took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a prominent production location for Hollywood filmmakers near Santa Fe.
Although most movie sets have strict guidelines regarding the usage of prop firearms, mishaps sometimes occur.
Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, was killed with a rifle that was supposed to shoot blanks during the production of “The Crow.”
Brandon’s sister Shannon Lee commented on the shooting on Twitter.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’,” she posted on the official Brandon Lee Twitter Page.
“No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set.”
Baldwin co-wrote and co-starred in the film as Harland Rust, an outlaw whose grandson is convicted of murder and who joins him on the run when the kid is condemned to death.
The 63-year-old uploaded a photograph earlier Thursday on Instagram showing him allegedly on set, dressed in a period costume and with fake blood on his chest.
“Back to in-person at the office. Blimey… it’s exhausting,” He wrote the caption for the photo, which had been posted online many hours before the incident.
Devastating death of Hutchins
The news of Hutchins’ death was “devastating,” according to a joint statement from John Lindley and Rebecca Rhine of the International Cinematographers Guild.
“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 statement, reported by Variety, said.
The revelation also left Fran Drescher, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director of the union, “devastated,” and warned that all the facts were not yet known.
“We will continue to work with production, the other unions, and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again,” they said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Since the 1980s, Baldwin has been on television and in films.
He has voiced cartoon characters in hits like “The Boss Baby” and has starred in several high-profile films, including “The Hunt for Red October” and two editions of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.
With his long-running impersonation of Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” a performance that upset Trump but earned Baldwin a Primetime Emmy, he gained new fans.