On October 21, 2021, Russian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque after a prop gun was accidentally discharged by Alec Baldwin on set. Director Joel Souza was also injured but has since been released.
Minutes before the unfortunate incident occurred, assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the table and yelled “cold gun” as he handed it off to Baldwin. This meant that the revolver had no bullets in it.
However, when Baldwin pulled the trigger, it fired a live round that struck Hutchins in the chest. It also injured Souza, who stood behind her.
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The terrifying incident unfolded shortly before 2 p.m at Bonanza Creek Ranch, as confirmed by Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office spokesperson Juan Ríos.
Ríos said investigators were out at the ranch Friday evening and served multiple search warrants in what he described as an ongoing “shooting investigation.” He also mentioned that no one had been charged or arrested as of October 23.
“Our investigation is specific to the incident surrounding the discharge. Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged,” Ríos said.
“We do know that Mr. Baldwin discharged the firearm,” he continued. “Mr. Baldwin was interviewed yesterday by detectives. He came in voluntarily to the sheriff’s office. He was very cooperative.”
Baldwin Expresses Shock And Sadness
Baldwin addressed the incident for the first time on Friday. “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,” the 63-year-old actor wrote in a statement posted via Twitter and Instagram.
“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.”
The movie’s production company, Rust Movie Production LLC, also spoke about the incident.
“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event,” they concluded in a statement issued following the incident.
Reactions Of Other Celebrities
Celebrities and other filmmakers took to their social media to comfort the Hutchins family and offer their condolences.
“Sending all my love to the family of Halyna Hutchins,” Hailey Beiber wrote via Instagram Story following the incident. “This is a truly unimaginable and devastating tragedy. My thoughts are also with Joel Souza as he recovers. I am absolutely heartbroken for everyone involved.”
The “Black Widow” star, Florence Pugh, shared a photo of Hutchins via her Story. She wrote, “This tragedy has been firmly circling in my head all day and all night. This kind of ‘mistake’ is something that honestly worries me every time a set has to work with firearms. Naturally. This is an actual heartbreaking nightmare, for all involved.”
She continued in her post, “My heart aches so much for this woman and her family. The crew. Alec. Everyone who had to witness such a sloppy mistake play out. This shouldn’t happen. I still can’t wrap my head around why or how. Rest In Peace Halyna.”
Even Baldwin’s daughter wasn’t left out. “My love and support go to Halnya Hutchins’ family and friends. Sending healing thoughts to Joel Souza,” the model shared via her Instagram Story. “And wishing I could hug my dad extra tight today,”
A Reminiscence Of Brandon Lee’s Death
Brandon Lee died while he filmed the 1993 film “The Crow.” This happened when co-actor Michael Massee shot him at close range with what he thought was a harmless pistol. Lee was hit in the stomach area, and after six hours of surgery, he died on the operating table.
The actor’s sister Shannon Lee, who operates Brandon’s memorial Twitter account, tweeted on Thursday following the “Rust” incident.
“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.”
Reactions From Hutchins’ Family
Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, said on a phone call to Insider, “I don’t think there are words to communicate the situation. I am not going to be able to comment about the facts or the process of what we’re going through right now, but I appreciate that everyone has been very sympathetic.”
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He added, “I think that we will need a little bit of time before we can really encapsulate her life in a way that is easy to communicate.”
“Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief,” he concluded.