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Officials said actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the film’s set and killed the cinematographer. The director of the western being filmed was injured, and officials are investigating what happened.


Joel Souza, the cinematographer and director of the film “Rust,” was shot Thursday on the rustic film set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to county sheriff’s officials.

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A Baldwin spokesman said there had been an accident on set that involved a misfire of a prop gun with Blank, although it is unlikely to have been killed at medium range without a metal projectile charge. Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said detectives were investigating how and what type of projectile was fired.

Santa Fe New Mexican reported that 63-year-old Baldwin was seen in tears outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday, but attempts to get comment from him were unsuccessful.

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The sheriff’s department said Hutchins, 42, was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where she is undergoing treatment.

International Cinematographers Guild President John Lindley and Executive Director Rebecca Raine said in a statement: “Details are unclear at this time, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation of this tragic incident.” “

Sheriff’s spokesman Rios said the sheriff’s deputy responded at 2 p.m. on the film set at Bonanza Creek Ranch after a 911 call in which a man was shot. The farm has been used in dozens of films, including the recent Tom Hanks western “News of the World”.

“This investigation remains open and active,” Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed in connection with the incident. Interviews of witnesses by the detectives are on.”

Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, served as director of photography in the 2020 action film “Arkenemy,” which starred Joe Manganiello. She was named a “rising star” by American cinematographers in 2019.

“I’m so sad to lose Halina. And so angry this could happen on a set,” Adam Egypt Mortimer, director of “Arknemy,” said on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was completely committed to art and film.”

Manganiello called Hutchins “an incredible talent” and “a great man” on his Instagram account. He said that he is lucky to have worked with him.

Baldwin previously worked as a producer with Souza in the 2019 film “Crown Vic,” which starred Thomas Jane as a veteran Los Angeles police officer on the hunt for two violent bank robbers. Souza’s first credited film, 2010’s “Hannah Gould”, was a treasure hunt adventure featuring Luke Perry.

Production on “Rust” was stopped. According to the Internet Movie Database website, the film is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to care for himself and his younger brother after the death of his parents in Kansas in the 1880s. The teen runs away with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to death for the accidental murder of a local rancher.

In 1993, Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died after being struck by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the film “The Crow.” The gun was believed to have fired a blank, but an autopsy revealed a bullet near his spine.

A Twitter account run by Lee’s sister Shannon said: “Our condolences to the family of Haliana Hutchins and Joel Souza and everyone involved in the ‘Rust’ incident. No one ever was shot with a gun on a film set. Should. Period.”

In 1984, actor John-Eric 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”.


Berry reported from Phoenix. Associated Press film writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.