Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin’s prop gun on a New Mexico set of the film Rust. Director Joel Souza was injured. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the incident to determine what happened. No charges have been filed.

Alec Baldwin was involved in a shooting on his movie set, Rust. The actor fired a prop gun and accidently killed one person and injured the director. An investigation is ongoing. (Credit: Instagram)
Alec Baldwin was involved in a shooting on his movie set, Rust. The actor fired a prop gun and accidently killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured the director. An investigation is ongoing. (Credit: Instagram)

“According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the Sheriff’s office statement said. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Halyna Hutchins was shot at around 1:50 p.m. local time at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. According to a spokesperson for the actor, the accident happened when the prop gun, which was shooting blanks, misfired. Following the tragic event, Alec Baldwin went straight to the sheriff’s office to give his statement.

An eyewitness reported that after Halyna Hutchins was shot, Alec Baldwin kept on asking why he was handed a “hot gun,” which is a weapon that is loaded with real bullets instead of blanks.

The cinematographer was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque where she later passed away. Joel Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where he received emergency care and the state of his condition has not been made public.

According to a tweet by actress Frances Fisher, the director told her that he was released from the hospital after 2:30 a.m. but he has yet to make any public statement about the incident.

All filming for the movie, Rust, has been halted while the local police start their investigation. Rust Movie Productions released a statement and said that the safety of their cast and crew was their top priority at this time.

This is not the first time that a prop movie gun has misfired and killed someone on set. According to Deadline this kind of thing has happened twice before. They said that actor Jon-Erik Hexum was killed in 1984, on the set of the TV series Cover Up “when he accidentally shot himself in the head.” In 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, died after he was shot on set.

Since the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins, Brandon Lee’s family has spoken out and offered their sympathy. Brandon’s sister, Shannon, who runs her brother’s social media took to Twitter and said, “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust.’ No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

Halyna Hutchins died after being involved in a shooting on the Rust movie set. (Credit: Facebook)
Halyna Hutchins died after being involved in a shooting on the Rust movie set. (Credit: Facebook)

Halyna Hutchins was from the Ukraine and grew up in the Arctic Circle before getting a degree in journalism from the Kiev National University. She later switched from journalism to movies and graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015.

She was named one of American Cinematographer‘s Rising Stars of 2019 and according to her website, she worked on a lot of recent movies before her death. Some of those films include, Blindfire, Darlin’ and Archenemy.

Joel Souza is a filmmaker from San Francisco. He previously worked with Alec on the movie, Crown Vic back in 2019. Alec Baldwin and Joel Souza were both listed as writers on the movie Rust.

Rust is set in the 1880’s Kansas and it follows a 13-year-old boy and his brother who must fend for themselves after the death of their parents. The boy later teams up with his estranged grandfather, played by Baldwin, and the two of them go on the run after the boy is sentenced to death for accidently killing a rancher.