In a horrific turn of events, reports flooded in from New Mexico about a tragic mishap on a film set in which Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin has fatally shot a female crew member on set.
Early accounts of the incident indicated that two crew members had been injured by the misfire of a prop gun on the set of an upcoming western called Rust. However, with increasing attention to this accident on the internet, other facts about this terrible tragedy have filtered through over the course of the next few hours.
According to the latest reports from the sheriff’s office in New Mexico, iconic actor Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun which was supposed to be loaded with blanks. However, the projectiles that were discharged from the weapon ended up injuring one member of the production process and killing another.
“This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident,” Juan Rios, from the sheriff’s office said: “Mr Baldwin came in voluntarily to speak with investigators and after speaking with them he left.” Reporters had already reached the office on Thursday from which a tearful Baldwin emerged but he did not speak to the press.
What exactly happened with the prop gun is not clear, with an active investigation underway. “According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” Rios commented. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
The woman who died due to the accident on the set of Rust is Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old director of photography who has been described as a “rising star” of the film industry. As for the injured member of the production, it is the director of Rust Joel Souza who was on the receiving end of the misfiring prop gun as well and was wounded.
“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,” the official statement said.
Adding, “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.”
Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in for Hutchins from people who cannot believe that a cinematographer lost her life on a film set even though it had happened once before in 1993 when Brandon Lee was involved in a similar accident. The International Cinematographer’s Guild described the entire incident as “devastating news” while calling the untimely demise of Hutchins “a terrible loss.”
“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” commented guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine.
This story is developing.