How Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s offices after the fatal shooting on the set of ‘Rust.’
Jim Weber/The New Mexican

Image caption,Actor Alec Baldwin seen outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office after he was interviewed by police

A woman was killed and a man has been injured after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on a New Mexico film set for the 19th Century western Rust.

While working on the set as director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot. She was flown to hospital by helicopter but died of her injuries.

The 48-year-old director Joel Souza, was taken from the scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch by ambulance.

Police said they were still investigating and that no charges had been filed.

Halyna Hutchins: Rising star of film industry was ‘incredible artist’

How prop guns work in films

A spokesperson for Mr Baldwin, otherwise known for his role as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock and for his drawing of Donald Trump on sketch show Saturday Night Live, said the occurrence involved the misfiring of a prop gun with blanks.

In a clear expression to AFP news agency, a Santa Fe sheriff spokesman declared Mr Baldwin had spoken to detectives.

“He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews,” the spokesman said.

Mr Baldwin a co-producer of the film and plays its namesake role, an outlaw whose 13-year-old grandson is declared guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Baldwin, the eldest of four brothers all actors, has starred in so many TV and film roles since the 1980s.

Ms Hutchins hail from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, and according to her private website. She studied journalism in Kyiv, and film in Los Angeles, and was named a “rising star” by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.

She was also the director of photography for the 2020 action film Archenemy, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer.

Mr Mortimer said in a tweet,

“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set.”

In a declaration, the International Cinematographer’s Guild said Ms Hutchins’ death was

“devastating news” and “a terrible loss”.

Guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine also said

“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,”

Police declared sheriff’s deputies were send off to Bonanza Creek Ranch, a well known filming location, at around 13:50 local time (19:50 GMT) after receiving an emergency call about a shooting on the set of Rust.

Incidents such as Thursday’s deadly shooting on the Rust film set are extremely rare, yet not unheard of.

Real rifles are frequently used in filming, and are loaded with blanks – cartridges that create a flash and a bang without releasing a missile.

Brandon Lee – the 28-year-old son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, In 1993 – died on set after being inadvertently shot with a prop gun while filming a death scene for the film The Crow.

It was later resolved that the gun used had earlier fired a round that caused a cartridge to become lodged in the barrel. When blank rounds were later fired, the cartridge was removed and released.

In response to Thursday’s news, Brandon Lee’s sister Shannon tweeted:

“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’. No-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

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