Mourners at vigil vow to get 'justice' for cinematographer shot dead on film set

24 October 2021, 10:06 | Updated: 24 October 2021, 10:08

Mourners gathered in the Albuquerque Civic Plaza, New Mexico
Mourners gathered in the Albuquerque Civic Plaza, New Mexico. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Mourners at a vigil for Halyna Hutchins in New Mexico have vowed to 'get justice' after she was shot dead on set by actor Alec Baldwin in a tragic accident.

The International Cinematographers Guild hosted the vigil on Saturday after the 42-year-old was shot dead on the set of the Western film Rust.

The guild told its members: "Let’s gather together to honour Halyna and her accomplishments, and grieve together as one."

The guild said the vigil will continue tonight, adding Halyna will "always remain in our hearts."

Mourners gathered in the Alburquerque Civic Square, lit candles and gave heartfelt speeches about the cinematographer. A second vigil will be held in Burbank, New Mexico from 6pm local time.

Read more: Gun that killed Halyna Hutchins 'was being used for off-set target practice by crew'

The fatal incident occurred on the set of Western film Rust.
The fatal incident occurred on the set of Western film Rust. Picture: alma

One crew member at the vigil said "We want to see justice for Halyna.

"She was more than just a camera person who got shot, she was a brilliant person."

There are growing calls for stricter measures to ensure crew members' safety on set, with an online petition gaining more than 14,000 signatures since being started on Thursday.

Read more: Family of Alec Baldwin share tributes to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Read more: Alec Baldwin was told loaded prop gun was safe before fatal shooting

Director and friend of Halyna Bandar Albuliwi, who began the petition, wrote: "We need to make sure that this avoidable tragedy never happens again.  

"There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century."

He added: "Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost."

Halyna's husband and son, 9, have been pictured in New Mexico following the shooting.

Alec Baldwin fired a gun loaded with live rounds that he was told was safe to use.
Alec Baldwin fired a gun loaded with live rounds that he was told was safe to use. Picture: alma

It has emerged that a crew member walked off set of the film just hours before the fatal shooting in a protest over conditions and safety fears.

According to court documents, the film's armourer Hannah Gutierrez had set three weapons out on a cart on set where a scene was being acted out.

Assistant director Dave Halls then took one of the guns from the cart and took it to Alec Baldwin while unaware it was loaded with live rounds, not blanks.

"Cold gun," Mr Halls called out on set before handing Mr Baldwin the gun.

But when Alex Baldwin pulled the trigger a live round was fired resulting in the fatal shot, which killed Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her at the time.

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

Mr Baldwin, 63, is co-operating with police and spoke after the incident. saying "there are no words to convey my shock and sadness" following the incident.

Rust is set in Kansas in the 1880s and stars Mr Baldwin, who is also a producer of the film, as the infamous outlaw Harland Rust.

There were conflicts on the set of the film since it began filming, with crew members raising concerns over safety, filming and living conditions.

Crew members of Rust reportedly used live rounds loaded in prop guns for target practice off-set.

The Los Angeles Times reported that five days prior to the fatal shooting, Baldwin's stunt double accidentally fired two live shots from a weapon after being told it was safe to use.

A crew member who was concerned about the misfires told a unit production manager in a text message: "We've now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe," according to a copy of the message reviewed by the newspaper.