Alec Baldwin fired prop gun that killed cinematographer and injured director on “Rust” movie set

Not clear how the firearm was discharged, or what type of projectile was discharged from it

Sophie Reardon, Tucker Reals – CBS News

One person was killed and another was wounded after Alec Baldwin’s prop firearm was discharged on the set of the movie “Rust” on Thursday, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office. Baldwin is starring in and co-producing the Western film.

“The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release late Thursday. “Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.”

Hutchins was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital via helicopter, where she died of her injuries. Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and was being treated for his injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

The two were shot just before 2 p.m. local time Thursday while filming a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, according to the sheriff’s office. It wasn’t clear how the firearm was discharged, or what type of projectile may have been discharged from it, the sheriff’s office said.

The incident remained under investigation and no charges had been filed.

 A distraught Alec Baldwin lingers in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s offices on Camino Justicia after being questioned on October 20, 2021, about a shooting when a prop gun misfired earlier in the day on a local movie set. JIM WEBER/THE NEW MEXICAN

In a statement posted to Twitter by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said they were “devastated by this tragic news,” and voiced their sympathy with the victims’ families.

“This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts,” the SAG-AFTRA leaders said the union would “continue to work with production, the other unions, and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.” 

According to Variety, “Rust” also stars Jensen Ackles, Brady Noon, and Travis Fimmel. 

In 1993, actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, was killed while filming for “The Crow” when a firearm used on set discharged a .44 calibre round, meant to be a blank, that struck his abdomen.

feature image: Jim Weber/The New Mexican via CBS News