Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed the female cinematography director of his upcoming western movie Rust and wounded the director while firing a prop gun on set.
The 68-year-old was filming a scene for the movie at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, when the gun went off around 1.50pm, fatally wounding 42-year-old photography director Halyna Hutchins and leaving writer-director Joel Souza, 48, badly injured.
Hutchins, who is said to be a married mother-of-one, was rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital in an air ambulance but was later pronounced dead, while Souza was taken by ambulance to the Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Center. He has since been released.
After the tragedy, Alec Baldwin was pictured sobbing. He was also seen with his hands on his knees and his face seemingly crumpled with distress
He also was taken to a Santa Fe detectives’ office to be questioned about the shooting. He was not arrested and was later released without charge though investigations are ongoing.
Police have released few details about the shooting, saying only that the prop weapon discharged some kind of ‘projectile’ which hit Hutchins and Souza – though it is unclear exactly what kind of projectile or how it came to be loaded into the weapon.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office said the gun was fired during the middle of a scene that was either being filmed or rehearsed. It is unclear exactly how the gun was fired – whether by accident or on purpose. Detectives said the gun was ‘discharged’ and gave no further details.
A spokesman for the Rust Movies Productions LLC described the death as an ‘accident’ and said it involved ‘the misfire of a prop gun with blanks’.
Filming will be halted ‘for an undetermined period of time’, a statement from the company added, saying ‘the entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy.’