Prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin on film set kills cinematographer, injures director

The incident happened on the set of ‘Rust’ in New Mexico

alec-baldwin-reuters [File] Alec Baldwin with his Emmy award | Reuters

US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on a film set in New Mexico on Thursday, according to reports.  

The incident happened on the set of Rust, where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th-century western. 

Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died, Variety reported. 

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said in a statement that Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.” No one was arrested in the incident, and no charges have been filed, the office said, adding that the incident remains under ‘open and active’ investigation. 

A spokesperson for Baldwin said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

Hutchins was director of photography on the 2020 action film Archenemy, starring Joe Manganiello. A 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, she was named a rising star by American Cinematographer in 2019. “I'm so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” said Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”

Baldwin was a producer on Souza's 2019 film, Crown Vic, which starred Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles police officer on a manhunt for two violent bank robbers. His first credited film, 2010's Hanna's Gold, was a treasure hunt adventure featuring Luke Perry.

Filming for Rust was set to continue into early November. The movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s Kansas. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

-with PTI inputs