Thursday, December 9, 2021

Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shoots and kills cinematographer on film set

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer and wounded a director when he discharged a prop gun on a movie set in New Mexico on Thursday, authorities said.

Baldwin shot Halyna Hutchins, the photography director of “Rust”, and Joel Souza, the film’s director, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe, according to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department.

Hutchins was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Actress Frances Fisher said on Twitter that “Souza texted me that he’s out of hospital.” Asked whether Souza had been discharged, medical center spokesperson Arturo Delgado said he was not allowed to release information about patients.

The Sheriff’s office said that no charges have been filed and they are investigating the shooting and interviewing witnesses.

Entertainment news site Deadline cited a source in the Sheriff’s office as saying that Baldwin was questioned by investigators and later released.

Deputies were still trying to determine whether what happened was an accident, the newspaper added. Rios did not immediately respond to requests for information from Reuters.

Baldwin was seen “distraught and in tears” as he spoke on the phone outside the sheriff’s office headquarters on Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican wrote.

Baldwin, 63, is a co-producer of “Rust”, a Western movie set in the 1880s Kansas, and plays the eponymous character who is an outlaw grandfather of a 13-year-old boy convicted of an accidental killing.

An e-mail to an address for the film production, which was listed on a New Mexico government statement, went unanswered.

“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,” said a tweet from Lee’s account, which is handled by his sister.

BAN ON SOME PROP GUNS?

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The accident renewed debate about whether certain types of prop guns should be banned.

“This suggestion doesn’t help any of them, but it’s time to stop being macho about blanks and end the practice,” said Ben Rockula, a director.

Earlier on Thursday, Baldwin posted a picture of himself on Instagram sporting a grey beard and dressed in Western cowboy-style attire in front of trailers. He appeared to have a fake blood stain on his shirt and jacket.

“Back to in person at the office. Blimey … it’s exhausting,” he wrote. The post was deleted late on Thursday night.

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Known for his impersonations of former US President Donald Trump on NBC’s comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live,” Baldwin has a long history in film and television, including roles in “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “30 Rock.”

Hutchins, 42, who was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, once worked as an investigative reporter in Europe, according to her website.

She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2019, according to her website biography.

She described herself as a “Restless Dreamer” and an “Adrenaline junkie” on her Instagram page.

Her last post, two days ago, shows her grinning under a wide-brimmed hat as she rides a horse. “One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:)” she captioned the video.

Representatives for Hutchins did not immediately respond to a request for information about her death.

Souza, 48, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children, according to the IMDB website. His LinkedIn page credits him as the “writer/director” of action film Crown Vic and comedy Christmas Trade.

 

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