The Hollywood community was stunned Thursday evening when reports surfaced from the set of a film titled Rust that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins had been killed in a tragic accident involving a prop gun. Rust is a Western filming in New Mexico, and one of the movie’s stars, Alec Baldwin, fired what he believed to be a prop gun whole facing the camera. It is believed that the prop contained a live single round, though forensic investigations have just begun. Today, Baldwin posted a statement on social media, saying:
The discharged weapon injured both cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and Rust director Joel Souza. Hutchins was airlifted to a nearby Albuquerque hospital, according to Deadline, where she died from injuries sustained. Souza also was treated, but was released.
Rust is being filmed in Santa Fe, near the Bonanza Creek Ranch. Criminal investigators responded to the scene following the accidental discharge of a live round. The response from the film community on social media has been a mix of overwhelming sympathy for the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins, as well as shock that an accident like this could even be possible on a professional film set.
This morning, the family of Brandon Lee, who died on the set of The Crow in 1993 from a similar accident, also posted a message on the social media of Lee, which is run by his sister Shannon. Their message stated:
One of the issues that could play a factor as to how and why an accident like this could occur on a film set is because the crew members responsible for the safety on the set of Rust allegedly are not members of the union, IATSE Local 44, which would oversee this.
No one ever wants to hear about accidents like this happening on a film set. There can not be any excuse for a live round to be present on a set, and more precautions need to be taken so that tragedies like this simply do not happen moving forward. CinemaBlend sends its deepest regrets to the family of Halyna Hutchins, and we hope for a speedy recovery for director Joel Souza.
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