Halyna Hutchins, director of photography, was fatally shot on the sets of the 19th Century western “Rust”, in which Baldwin is playing the lead.
A woman artiste was killed and a filmmaker injured when American actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a film set in New Mexico.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed when the shot was fired on the sets of the 19th Century western "Rust". She was immediately flown to the University of New Mexico hospital in a helicopter, but couldn’t be saved.
Director Joel Souza, 48, was rushed to Christus St Vincent regional medical centre in an ambulance where he is receiving treatment. Baldwin expressed "shock and sadness" after the incident.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred," Baldwin tweeted.
The police are investigating the case but haven’t filed any charges yet, according to BBC.
The police received an emergency call about a shooting on the set of the film "Rust" at around 1:50 pm local time (7:50 pm GMT).
The incident happened when Baldwin was shooting for the movie "Rust" at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe in New Mexico, the Santa Fe Sheriff's department said. Hutchins was the cinematographer while Joel Souza is the film's director.
Baldwin, a co-producer of the film, plays an outlaw, whose 13-year-old grandson is convicted of manslaughter. The boy is on the run with his long-estranged grandfather after being sentenced to death for accidentally killing a local rancher. The movie is set in 1880s Kansas, the Internet Movie Database website said.
According to reports in The Guardian, an assistant director had given Baldwin a loaded weapon and indicated that it was safe to use it. The assistant director was not aware that the prop gun was loaded with live rounds, said the search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court.
Hutchins was shot in the chest, while Souza standing behind her, was wounded.
Investigators obtained the warrant on Friday to document the scene where the shooting took place. They took Baldwin’s blood-stained costume as evidence along with the weapon that was fired. They also seized other prop guns and ammunition being used in the film.
A spokesman for Santa Fe sheriff told the AFP news agency that Baldwin had spoken to the detectives.
"He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews," Santa Fe sheriff spokesman Juan Rios told AFP. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made so far.
Photographs of a distraught Baldwin published in The Santa Fe New Mexican were said to have been taken in the parking lot of the set after the tragedy. Reporters from the paper claimed to have seen the veteran actor in tears after being interviewed by the investigators.
Who was Hutchins?
Hutchins’ personal website said she was a Ukrainian, who grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Kyiv and films in Los Angeles. The American Cinematographer magazine called Hutchins a "rising star" in 2019. Prior to this, Hutchins was the director of photography for the action film Archenemy in 2020. Archenemy was directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer.
Baldwin is said to be in touch with Hutchins’ husband, Matthew. "
The International Cinematographer's Guild mourned the death of Hutchins saying it was "a terrible loss".
"The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event," guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine told BBC.
"I'm so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set," director Mortimer tweeted.
Meanwhile, some crew workers are said to have walked off the set in a protest of poor working conditions, the Los Angeles Times reported. The production of the film has been suspended indefinitely.
While fatal shooting in Hollywood is not unheard of, real firearms are often used as props while filming but are generally loaded with blank cartridges.
Martial arts star Bruce Lee’s 28-year-old son Brandon Lee died on the set after being accidentally shot while filming the "The Crow" in 1993.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)