Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has died on the set of the film Rust after a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin misfired, hitting Hutchins and director Joel Souza.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico, where the film has been shooting, confirmed that Hutchins was the crewmember killed. She was transported to a nearby hospital but died from her injuries. Souza was taken from the scene by ambulance and remains in emergency care.
A spokesperson for Baldwin, best known for his role in 30 Rock and playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, said the incident involved the misfiring of a prop gun with blanks (via the BBC). Baldwin came voluntarily to the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office and spoke to detectives. No charges have been filed, but police continue to investigate.
#BREAKING: @santafesheriff investigating incident at #Rust movie set on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. Pic from @KOB4 #Chopper4 shows an old church set blocked off, and set security confirms its lockdown. Other pic of Rust cast/crew. pic.twitter.com/8Cw9eg8kec
— Tessa Mentus (@TessaMentus) October 21, 2021
Rust stars Baldwin and was written and directed by Joel Souza. The story follows Harland Rust (Baldwin), an infamous Western outlaw whose 13-year-old grandson is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang. Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher, and Jensen Ackles also star in the movie.
Hutchins, who was born in Ukraine, served as the movie’s director of photography. She studied journalism in Kyiv and film in Los Angeles. She was named a “rising star” by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019 and was the cinematographer on the 2020 action film Archenemy, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer.
“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film,” Mortimer tweeted.
I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vcdFqHsGA0
— Adam Egypt Mortimer (@adamegypt) October 22, 2021
The International Cinematographer’s Guild released a statement following the incident, which read, “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event.”