A woman has been fatally shot and a man has been injured after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun whilst filming a new western movie, Rust.
Police in New Mexico, where the film was on location, have said that after Baldwin discharged the weapon, the woman (named as Halyna Hutchins, aged 42) was taken to hospital and later died of her injuries.
The man who received emergency medical care after the deeply tragic accident is the film's director, Joel Souza, 48.
Baldwin has since spoken out about the incident on social media and tweeted, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.
"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
A representative for Baldwin told AP news agency, as reported by the BBC, that the incident involved the misfiring of a prop gun with blanks. "There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority."
At present, police are still investigating and no charges have been filed. A police spokesperson said, "He [Baldwin] came in voluntarily and left the building after he finished his interviews."
One of Hutchins' former colleagues, director Adam Egypt Mortimer, expressed his upset at the loss of such a talent, writing 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."
According to her website, Hutchins was Ukrainian and spent her childhood on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She later went on to study journalism in Kyiv, and then film in Los Angeles.
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. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vcdFqHsGA0
— Adam Egypt Mortimer (@adamegypt) October 22, 2021
In a statement, the International Cinematographer's Guild described Hutchins' death as "devastating news" and "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.
Two days prior, Hutchins uploaded a video to Instagram of herself on set enjoying a horse ride. It was captioned, "One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off :)"
The comments section of the video has since been flooded with messages of condolences from those who knew, loved and worked with her, with one saying, "I will miss you my friend… This is devastating."
Our thoughts are with Hutchins' loved ones at this time and we're wishing Souza a full recovery.
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