One crew member has been killed, and another reportedly injured, on the New Mexico set of an upcoming film starring Alec Baldwin. THR reports that a prop gun misfired on the set of the film Rust, injuring two members of the film’s crew; the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Department later revealed that one of the injured, described as a 42-year-old woman, died after being transported via helicopter to a nearby hospital.
THR acquired a statement from the film’s production tonight, which stated that, “There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
Rust is being directed by Joel Souza, whose previous features include the 2019 cop drama Crown Vic. The film stars Baldwin as Harland Rust, a well-known outlaw who attempts to break his 13-year-old grandson (played by Brady Noon) out of jail. Travis Fimmel, Jensen Ackles, and Frances Fisher all co-star.
So far, neither authorities, nor the production, have revealed any details about how the accident on the film’s set occurred. The second person injured has reportedly been hospitalized and is being treated for their injuries. Baldwin is listed as a co-producer on the film.
Deaths on Hollywood productions are rare, but, obviously, not as rare as we might hope. Recent years have seen the death of a stunt performer, John Bernecker, after a fall on the set of The Walking Dead in 2017, as well as the death of stunt performer Joi Harris, who was killed while filming a motorcycle stunt on Deadpool 2, and Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was hit by a train on the set of Midnight Rider in 2014. The latter incident led to a long series of lawsuits, as well as the founding of Safety For Sarah, a movement campaigning for increased safety on film and television sets.
Update, 9:30 p.m., 10/21/21: Variety has now added additional details to its story, including news, confirmed by the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s office, that the woman killed in the incident was cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The Sheriff’s department also confirmed that it was Baldwin who was holding the prop gun during the incident, which also reportedly injured director Joel Souza.
Here’s part of the Sheriff Department’s statement, per Deadline:
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.
John Lindley and Rebecca Rhine, president and executive director of the International Cinematographer’s Guild, issued a statement on Hutchins’ death:
We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called Rust in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set. The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.