Woman dies and man injured after Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on film set

22 October 2021, 06:37 | Updated: 22 October 2021, 08:50

Woman fatally shot by prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin, police say

By Emma Soteriou

A woman has died and a man has been injured after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a film set in New Mexico.

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The incident took place during filming for Rust - a 19th century western.

The 42-year-old woman, named as Halyna Hutchins, was airlifted to a hospital, where she died, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said. She had been director of photography for the film.

Meanwhile, 48-year-old director Joel Souza received emergency care at another hospital. He is understood to have been released.

Production has since been halted on the film, which was being produced by Baldwin.

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.

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A spokesperson for the actor said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s office said in a statement: "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.

"Ms Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel.

The incident took place on a film set in New Mexico.
The incident took place on a film set in New Mexico. Picture: Alamy

"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."

Deputies responded at about 2pm on Thursday after 911 calls came in of a person being shot on the set, Sheriff's spokesman Juan Rios said.

The sister of late actor Brandon Lee has said "no-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set", after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a western, killing a cinematographer.

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.

A statement on Lee's official Twitter account, which is run by Lee's sister Shannon, said: "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust.'

"No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."