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Alec Baldwin 'discharged' prop gun that killed Rust cinematographer

·2-min read

Police officials have confirmed that Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun during an on-set incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

The incident occurred on Thursday on the set of Rust, an independent film that was in production at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Shortly after the accident, Hutchins was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and later died from her injuries. She was 42. Souza was rushed to nearby Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and currently receiving treatment.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's office confirmed Baldwin "discharged" the prop gun but that no one has been arrested and no charges have been filed, saying that the accident is under "open and active" investigation.

"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," a statement from the Sheriff's Office reads.

"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. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident."

Sheriff's Office official Juan Rios told The Guardian: "Mr Baldwin came in voluntarily to speak with investigators and after speaking with them he left."

The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper also reported that Baldwin was seen outside the sheriff's office in tears, but did not comment on the incident.

Production on the movie has been halted in light of the accident. Baldwin is the star and co-producer on the project, a western centred on a bounty hunter and his 13-year-old son who is convicted of accidental murder, according to Variety.

Hutchins was dubbed a "rising star" by the American Cinematographer in 2019. She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and had worked on several short films, including the Joe Manganiello-led feature Archenemy released in 2020. Michael Pessah, a friend of Hutchins, called her "a wonderful, positive, creative person" who was excited about her future in filmmaking.

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