Alec Baldwin has shot and killed the cinematographer of his new film after using a prop firearm on set in a tragic and rare accident.
The actor is currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, filming his upcoming movie Rust which is about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run in the 1880s after being convicted of accidental murder.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, tragically passed away in the accident and the movie’s director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured. He was taken to hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.
No criminal charges have been filed and local paper the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Alex was ‘distraught’ while at the Sheriff’s office on Thursday evening.
A Santa Fe sheriff spokesman told AFP that Alec had spoken with police about what happened. They said: ‘He came involuntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews’.
A statement from the police read: ‘According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged.
‘Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged. The incident remains an active investigation. As more information becomes available, updates will be provided.’
Halyna had worked around the world on film sets, with her coming to Ireland to film in 2020. The cinematographer shared several updates from the trip to Instagram showing she visited Dublin and Birr.
She was called a ‘rising star’ and tipped as one to watch back in 2019 by American Cinematographer. She has previously worked on 2020 action film Archenemy, with the director of that production leading the tributes to her.
Director Adam Egypt Mortimer wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.’
Dozens of her friends and colleagues also shared their shock at the tragic loss on her Instagram page, with many saying they’re ‘heartbroken.
Another director, James Cullen, added that he will miss his friend ‘dearly’ and is ‘devastated’ before later swearing to only use ‘airsoft or rubber guns’ on his own productions going forward.
The cinematographer’s father was a soldier and she grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle before going to university in Kiev, Ukraine. She later lived in the UK before moving to California.
Prop firearm accidents on sets are rare but Halyna’s death is reminiscent of the death of Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow in 1993. He was killed when a stuck bullet in a prop gun was forced out by a blank round.
Brandon’s sister Shannon also paid tribute to Halyna and sent her love to the rising star’s family, writing: ‘No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.’