The following story is bizarre, baffling and, most of all, tragic.
On Thursday night, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Alec Baldwin “discharged” a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his new movie, Rust.
The incident also injured director Joel Souza, who was flown immediately afterward to a local hospital in New Mexico.
Hutchins was also flown to this same hospital, but pronounced dead not long after her arrival.
“Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released,” a Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department official said in a statement last night. “No arrests or charges have been filed.”
Elsewhere, the message said that witnesses would continue to be intervew and a complete investigation competed.
Below, the statement details exactly what transpired…
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set of the western “Rust”, October 21, 2021, when an 911 caller reported a shooting on the set.
The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. 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.
Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel.
Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
Typically, the prop master or armorer is responsible for fire arms and fire arms safety on a set such as Rust.
There’s no way of knowing at this time exacty how a fake gun ended up with real bullets inside of it.
As news about Hutchins’ death emerged, the Cinematographers Guild expressed shock and remorse.
“We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called Rust in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set,” said the Cinematographers Guild’s National President, John Lindley, and National Executive Director, Rebecca Rhine.
“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” added the guild executives.
“This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”
In the days prior to her passing, Hutchins numerous Instagram posts from set.
“One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:),” she captioned footage of her riding a horse on location.
“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, said in a statement.
“We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation.
“We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
Hutchins graduated from the AFI conservatory in 2015 and had previously worked on such movies as Archenemy (2020), Darlin’, (2019) Blindfire, (2020) and The Mad Hatter (2021).
According to Deadline, Rust is about an infamous outlaw named Harland Rust, portrayed by Baldwin.
“When his estranged 13-year-old grandson Lucas is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison,” reads the synopsis.
“Together, the two fugitives must outrun the legendary U.S. Marshal Wood Helm and bounty-hunter Fenton ‘Preacher’ Lang who are hot on their tail.”
Baldwin has not yet commented on this stunning and awful development.
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Halyna Hutchins.