Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of a Western he was making in New Mexico on Thursday, killing the film’s director of photography and wounding the movie’s director, the authorities said.
The cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed, and the director, Joel Souza, 48, was injured around 1:50 p.m. Mountain time on the set of Rust, which is being filmed in Santa Fe County, said Juan Rios, a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation.
Rios said the shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch happened in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed. He said the Sheriff’s Office was interviewing people on the set to determine how the two had been shot.
“We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” he said.
Rios said Thursday night that the Sheriff’s Office had not filed charges against anyone in connection with the shooting.
Hutchins was flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she later died, Rios said. Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. Souza’s condition was not immediately available.
The film’s producers and a representative for Baldwin, 63, did not immediately respond to e-mails or phone calls Thursday night.
In a statement, the movie’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, said: “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
On Thursday morning, Baldwin posted a photo on Instagram in his film costume, which included what appeared to be a prosthetic wound on his torso.
According to 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 film in Los Angeles.
She called herself a “restless dreamer” and an “adrenaline junkie” on her Instagram profile. She posted multiple images this month from the set of Rust, including a video Tuesday of her riding a horse on her day off.
In a statement, John Lindley, the national president of the International Cinematographers Guild, and Rebecca Rhine, the organization’s national executive director, called Hutchins’ death “devastating news.”
“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” their statement said. “This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”
A statement from the New Mexico Film Office on Oct. 6 said the movie’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, would employ 75 crew members, 22 actors and 230 “background talent.”
Rust is a movie about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather after the accidental killing of a local rancher, according to IMDb. The movie, which was set to be filmed this month and next month, is directed by Souza and stars Frances Fisher and Baldwin, who is also producing the film.
The shooting echoed an accident on a movie set in 1993 in which actor Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was shot and killed during a scene when a bullet that was lodged in the barrel of a gun was discharged along with a blank cartridge.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally shot himself in the head and died when he was pretending to play Russian roulette during a TV scene.
Baldwin, an Emmy Award-winning actor, has had a long career in movies, plays and television shows. In one of his best known roles, he played Jack Donaghy, an oblivious, domineering TV executive on the sitcom 30 Rock, which ran on NBC from 2006-13.
He also portrayed Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live with a custom-made wig, glued-on eyebrows and puckered lips. He and Trump sometimes sparred on social media.
Baldwin also has a history of run-ins with the police.
In 2014, he was arrested after he rode his bicycle the wrong way on Fifth Avenue near 16th Street in Manhattan. He was not carrying identification and the officers who took him to a station house charged him with disorderly conduct after they said he became belligerent.
In 2019, Baldwin pleaded guilty to harassment in Manhattan Criminal Court and agreed to take an anger management course in a deal with prosecutors to dispose of charges that he had assaulted a man during a dispute over a parking spot.
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