'There are no words': Alec Baldwin speaks out after fatally shooting woman on film set

22 October 2021, 17:12 | Updated: 22 October 2021, 17:57

Alec Baldwin pictured two weeks ago at a film premiere
Alec Baldwin pictured two weeks ago at a film premiere. Picture: Getty

Alec Baldwin has said "there are no words to convey my shock and sadness" following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.

The actor, 63, confirmed he is "fully co-operating" with the police investigation after he fired a prop gun on the US set of the Western, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

In a statement posted on his arts foundation's social media account, Baldwin described the event as a "tragedy" and said he is in communication with Hutchins' husband.

He said: "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.

'This really shouldn't have happened at all on a film set.'

"I'm fully co-operating 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."

Rust's director of photography Hutchins was killed during the incident on Thursday, officials in Santa Fe, New Mexico, previously confirmed.

The 42-year-old was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital but she was pronounced dead.

The set of the movie 'Rust' at Bonanza Creek Ranch where the fatal shooting occurred
The set of the movie 'Rust' at Bonanza Creek Ranch where the fatal shooting occurred. Picture: Getty

Actress Frances Fisher, who stars in the film, said on Friday that director Souza, 48, had been discharged from hospital.

"Director Joel Souza told me he's out of hospital," she wrote on Twitter.

Photographs published by The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper show an emotional Baldwin doubled over and apparently in tears outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office.

Shannon Lee, the sister of late actor Brandon Lee, has said "no-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set" following the incident.

Lee, 28, the son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, was killed in 1993 after he was shot on the set of the film The Crow.

The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but a post-mortem examination found a .44-calibre bullet lodged near his spine.

The incidents that killed Lee and Hutchins are part of a long history of tragedies on film sets.

In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a prop gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series Cover Up.

During the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982, a helicopter crash killed actor Vic Morrow and two children, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, while filming a scene involving explosions, which damaged the helicopter's rotors.

In 2002 Vin Diesel's stunt double on the action film xXx, Harry O'Connor, died while he was performing a paragliding stunt.

A stunt expert was also killed on the set of Batman film The Dark Knight.

Conway Wickliffe was leaning out the window of a car operating a camera when the vehicle crashed into a tree.

The camera crew for television series His Dark Materials were among those to pay tribute to Hutchins today.

A photograph of a His Dark Materials clapperboard bearing the words RIP Halyna Hutchins was posted on the BBC and HBO programme's official Twitter page in tribute to the director of photography.

"We were devastated to learn of the tragic passing of Halyna Hutchins in the USA," the post said.

"Our wonderful camera crew created this on set today to pay tribute to 'one of us'."

Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello, who recently worked with Hutchins on the film Archenemy, also paid tribute to her.

He wrote on Instagram: "I woke up to the messages and read the news and I am in shock. I was so lucky to have had @halynahutchins as my DP on Archenemy.

"She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next.

"She was a fantastic person. There was no amount of pressure she couldn't handle. She was a great collaborator and an ally to anyone in front of her camera.

"Everyone who knew her was rooting for her. I can't believe that this could happen in this day and age... gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member?

"This is a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to her family and especially to her son. I am so sad today for everyone who knew her and worked with her..."